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Issue Home June 10, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

Straight From Starrucca
Along the Way...With P. Jay
Food For Thought

Slices of Life

Alone Again

The robin family has moved on. I went out on the porch to take, what turned out to be, the last of a series of photos. I had started clicking when there were just tiny heads with wide-open big mouths. I followed along with four peacefully sleeping babies that just filled the nest. This time, when I stepped out the front door, there was a frenzy of wing flapping as two of them jumped ship and hit the porch. Mother and father squawked and careened nervously about as the two youngsters gathered themselves up, ran across the porch deck and took off flying. They made it clear across the street to the tree in front of the radio station. Another bird had obviously set out earlier as only one was now left in the nest.

The late bloomer had no interest in seeking freedom. He settled snugly down in his single-occupancy apartment and took a nap. I thought maybe he was dead. But now and then an eye would open. I stopped back at the front door several times to check on him, and he continued to be there. Late this afternoon he was gone.

While the parents had co-existed peacefully with Mrs. Morris when the babies were in the nest, now it was a different story. They went wild when she wandered anywhere outdoors. She and I went down back to work in the garden, and there they were scolding us from the rooftops and the tall trees. To make matters worse, Rudy, who had not been around when the robins first took flight, now was hovering near the branches which the young birds were riding like rodeo bulls. Without having yet acquired much sense of balance, one mishap would find them sticking out of both sides of a cat’s mouth.

Realizing that they were now down back, Mrs. Morris and I moved back inside for the duration. And we convinced Rudy to leave the area, too. For the moment they were safe again.

This was one of the easiest exits I’ve seen. With three heading out at about the same time and going in the same general direction, they were easier for the parents to keep an eye on. By bedtime everything was quiet and I figured they were all safely tucked away in trees.

As I had watched one parent push food into each gaping mouth, I couldn’t figure out how she cut it up as she fed them. Then I happened to be looking out my kitchen window as the father worked with an angleworm. On the edge of the driveway, he was breaking it into bits by dashing it on the hard surface with his sharp beak. Over and over he attacked that worm. Finally, having accomplished his purpose, he picked up the pieces, one by one, storing them all in his beak. When he flew back to the nest, lunch was ready for everyone and he needed no knife. It is amazing to me how these wild creatures know just what to do whether it’s building the nest, warming the eggs, feeding babies or setting them free. It has to be in-born. I often wonder if they see or recognize their own offspring once the youngsters have become self-sufficient. Are they sad when their children leave so quickly? I, who thought eighteen years was a good length of time to nurture children, can’t imagine a relationship of six weeks or so.

But, whatever they think about that family, they will soon be starting another. They are going to give me time to scrub the bird droppings off the porch railing and deck, and then they are going to be back to start again.

Nature gives me some wonderful shows and I do appreciate them all. Except maybe the summer lightning.

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100 Years Ago

ST. JOSEPHS: There are plans in view to re-fresco the interior of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in this place. Rev. Father Lally's reputation in the matter of church improvement is widely known, and the parish church here is one of the most beautiful and devotional in the State (considered so for a little country place). The altars and stained glass windows are costly works of art. It is a church with a history and the pride of its people.

HOPBOTTOM: We would be very much pleased if the citizens owning property here have pride and ambition enough to remove the weeds and rubbish about their homes, by the side of their walks, trimming up shade trees &c. Follow the example of N. M. Finn in regard to keeping the sides of your walks clean.

ELK LAKE: Norman Stewart has erected a large windmill so as to be able to bring water from the Lake to his summer residence. AND: Homer Young has opened a barber shop at this place.

BRANDT: At a meeting of the School Board the following teachers were elected: Melrose school, Margaret Coughlin; Mountain school, Margaret Smith; Stevens' Point, Leon Storer; Bethel Hill, Ethelle Wrighter; Brandt school, Lottie Townsend and Martha Peck; Green Grove School, Mary McKune.

NEW MILFORD: A felicitous event of interest to the people of New Milford occurred in the city of Philadelphia on Monday evening, June 1, 1903, in the marriage of Albert VanBuskirk, one of our popular and active young businessmen. The happy bride was Miss Catherine Verbena Warner, formerly of Montrose, but who for the past year has resided in Philadelphia. The marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. C. Edgar Adamson, pastor of the Thirteenth street M. E. church. Mr. and Mrs. VanBuskirk reached New Milford Tuesday evening where they were met by the hearty congratulation of many warm friends who wish them continued prosperity and happiness.

SUSQUEHANNA: Former Street Commissioner Edgar N. French is ill with a light attack of smallpox. The house, corner of Jackson and Grand Streets is closely quarantined, and there are no other cases in town. AND: Out-of-town workmen, who are employed in the Erie shops here, will hereafter be required to produce a certificate that they are not suffering from a communicable disease.

MONTROSE: Andrew Leighton, of Glenburn, while here to attend the Grow celebration, was the guest of Mrs. Julia Warner. He was so unfortunate as to lose his pocket book containing $100 in money and checks. He thinks his pocket was picked at Alford, where the crowd was changing cars. He offers a reward for the return of his property. He is the only surviving classmate of Mr. Grow at the old Harford Academy.

UNIONDALE: Some unscrupulous parties dynamited the private pond of W. E. Gibson and hundreds of dead fish were floating on the water next day.

CLIFFORD: Our creamery is doing a booming business under the management of E. E. Finn. This adds much to the life and business of our town. AND: We are soon to have better roads in town as we have a stone crusher now at work.

SOUTH GIBSON: Miss Ida Witter, of this place, has opened a dressmaker shop at the home of Mrs. Fred Moss, of New Milford. She will be in the shop or go out by the day and sew. She is a dressmaker who comes well recommended.

LITTLE MEADOWS: The mill men are very busy on Peter Nevill's hill sawing logs at present. AND: The iron bridge creamery is running satisfactory under the skillful management of Hermon Card.

SILVER LAKE: If in want of a hair cut or shave call on Bert Wells, as he has a chair and is prepared to do that kind of work now.

WELCOME HOME TO GROW: It was indeed true on Tuesday morning that all roads led to Montrose, for people were coming from all directions by twos, by fours, and by wagon loads, and soon the streets of our village were thronged. Business places and residences were draped with flags and bunting; across prominent streets were stretched banners in red, white and blue, bearing this inscription, "1851 Welcome Home 1903". Upon the arrival of the train, as Mr. Grow appeared before the vast throng assembled, some one cried out "three cheers for Grow and Freeman," and they were given with a will. The carriage bearing Mr. Grow swung into line, preceded by the Endicott band, with Co. G acting as escort. In the carriage with Hon. Galusha A. Grow were Hon. D. W. Searle, President of the day; F. I. Lott, chairman of executive committee; and Mr. Daniel Freeman, the first man to pre-empt a farm under the Homestead laws. Then following were carriages bearing the reception committee and other distinguished citizens. Bands included the Forest City drum corps, Bullard's band of Hallstead, Harford band, Morgan's band of South Gibson, and Lawsville Centre drum corps, while Fire Co. No. 11, with their attractive hose carriage and Hook and Ladder Co., with their truck drawn by two handsome black horses, added much to the attractiveness of the procession.

The procession passed in review before Hon. Galusha A. Grow, who had taken his position on the balcony of the Court House. The Court House had been artistically draped in red, white and blue bunting and as Susquehanna county's Grand Old Man, with shoulders erect, head proudly poised, and with piercing eyes, stood in bold relief between the colonnades, it constituted a picture worthy of the brush of an artist.

From the speech of Chairman F.I. Lott the following is extracted: "He [Grow] was amongst the foremost of that sturdy band, who in the years immediately preceding the civil war, battled in the halls of congress for free speech, free soil, free men. When the strife was transferred from the forum to the field he was selected to preside over the deliberations of the house of representatives, a place in actual power and responsibility second only to that of the President. He holds the proud position of author and successful champion of legislation which gave the millions of acres of government land in the great west to the formation of free homes for free men. As Speaker of the House of Representatives he affixed his name to the bill, the passage of which was the fruition of his years of strenuous labors. He takes his place amongst the great and good sages and statesmen of our republic, and like them his grandest monument will be the well-earned love of his countrymen."

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VETERANS ENTERTAINED – The Hallstead–Great Bend American Legion Post, its Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion on Tuesday, May 20, entertained veterans (from all wars) at their home in Hallstead. The vets were treated to a delicious lunch and entertained by a musical group.

Vets attending (all World War II Army): Henry Harter, Gene Cassot, Paul Wert, Ken Herring, Walter Howey, Paul Wozniok, Paul Popovich, and Clarence Lokeski; Robert Rowe, Army, WW2, Korea; Frank Stout, Army, WW2, Vietnam; Don Landsberger, Army, Korea, Special Forces; Andy Cozzone, USMC, WW2, Korea.

AMERICAN LEGION Baseball – Following is the schedule of games to be played by the Legion Generals team, sponsored by Forest City, Mountain View and Susquehanna (FMS): they will play in Susquehanna on June 25, at 5:30 against Elk Lake; June 28, against Waymart starting at noon, which will be a double-header.

Other games – July 1, FMS at Montrose 5:30; July 9, FMS vs. Honesdale, 5:30, double-header at Battaglia; July 11, FMS vs. Scranton, double-header at 5:30 (Battaglia).

DRUG HELP For Seniors – "IF" Pennsylvania Governor Rendell’s plan goes through, state senior citizens could get help with their prescriptions. More than 100,000 Pennsylvanian seniors could get help paying for their prescription drugs under a new proposal outlined by Gov. Rendell.

PITCHER David Cone Retires – Due to an arthritic left hip, Cone, a former star pitcher with the Yankees, is forced to call it quits at age 40. Cone, one of the best at his trade while with the Yankees pitched a perfect game. He had a 194 won, 126 record, two World Series wins, and played in five World Series.

MORE MONEY, Less Performance – Since Tom Glavine - after nine years with Atlanta moved to the Mets for more money - he now has a 5-5 record. The Mets are in last place, while Atlanta is in first.

SPIRITUAL FORCES – Did you know that 3,035 chaplains – of all faiths – are serving in the Unites States Army, Navy and Air Force. About 500 chaplains are deployed with troops outside the United States, with many in the Persian Gulf region.

WORK-STUDY Applications Available – The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is encouraging students headed for higher education to apply for the Pennsylvania State Work-Study program. Interested students can get more information and applications by calling 1-800-692-7392. The program is available to Pennsylvania students with financial need.

A BASEBALL RIDDLE – Can a pitcher win a baseball game without ever throwing a pitch to the batter? Do you know how? Drop me a line. Answer will appear in next week’s paper.

A FATHER looking over his son’s report card said, "One thing is definitely in your favor. You couldn’t possibly be cheating."

A MAN STAGGERS into an emergency room with a concussion, multiple bruises, two black eyes and a five iron wrapped tightly around his throat. Naturally, the doctor asks him what happened.

"Well," the man says, "it’s like this. I was playing a quiet round of golf with my wife, when at a difficult hole, we both sliced our balls into a pasture of cows. We went to look for them, and while I was rooting around, I noticed one of the cows had something white on its rear end. I walked over and lifted up the tail, and sure enough, there was a golf ball with my wife’s monogram on it – stuck right in the middle of the bow’s butt. That’s when I made my big mistake."

"What did you do?" the doctor asks.

"Well," the man replies, "I lifted the cow’s tail and yelled to my wife, ‘Hey, this looks like yours!’ I don’t remember much after that."

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Straight From Starrucca

Saturday, May 31 was a very festive day at the Community Hall when a reception for two hundred and fifty people gathered to honor three Sisters (novices) who had taken their first vows and were clothed in the habit.

The ceremony was performed at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton and officiated by Abbot Forgeot of France. The Sisters initiated and names chosen were: Sr. Regina assumed the name of Sr. Benedicta; Sr. Frances took the name of Sr. Marie Placide; Sr. Scholastica did not receive another name as this was her first profession.

Relatives and friends of the Sisters poured into the hall and were rewarded by a delicious buffet set up by the Sisters of the local convent. England, Canada, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Maryland and New York State were all represented. The woman from Baltimore said to me, "You sure are isolated here." I told her we were just small-town America.

Jordan Downton, son of Jack and Vicki Downton celebrated his eighteenth birthday with a big party at the home of his parents. Jordan also graduates this year.

The local Girl Scouts are finally prepared for a four-day trip to West Virginia and the exciting appeal of white water rafting on the New River. They will be accompanied by their leader, Kristen Potter, and Gale Williams and Dawn Ripa.

There was not the usual turnout for our turkey buffet last Thursday, but those who came enjoyed their meal.

Only three people came to the Civic Association meeting last Wednesday night, so no business was transacted. Members, please remember first Wednesday in month at seven p.m. is the meeting date. Mark on your calendar so I don’t have to call every time.

Reservations for the Starrucca School Reunion to be held July 26 at the Community Hall can now be sent to Mrs. Andrew (Rebecca) Cizike, 413 June St., Endicott, NY 13760. Also, look around for items for the white elephant table and any old school photos.

On Saturday, June 28, in part celebration of one hundred fifty years as a borough, the history group has engaged a group of Morris dancers (saw them practicing in London) to entertain at 4 p.m. in the Community Hall. At 5 p.m. all are asked to bring a covered dish with spoon and table service for a potluck supper. After supper there will be a period of story telling. Please come, it sounds like an interesting evening.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Wow! What An Election!

Holy cow! I take a little sick time and all hell breaks loose! The Democrats abandon Cal Dean and the party leaders come away from the election looking like Oscar Meyer rejects; the Republicans decide to clean house and Ivan Burman remains the Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest; and, Cathy Benedict waltzes to a third term with another convincing win.

And how about those Democrat voters selecting two women to ride the jackass into the Fall classic. Coupled with Roberta Kelly’s victory in the Republican Primaries and suddenly there is the making of history in the offing. Think about it! Three women could be elected county commissioners in November. Right here in Susquehanna County, PA.

Kathy Shelly and MaryAnn Warren have already made their marks in county politics with their victories in the Democratic Primary Election. One of them is assured of a seat on the Board of County Commissioners and if they work together, a twin victory in November is not out of the question. Of course the Republicans will have something to say about this, and in all probability they will reject the thought. Nevertheless, it is possible.

And what happened to Cal Dean? The opinion here is that he and his supporters were over confident. They looked at the field and decided there was no way possible for Cal not to win one of the party’s two nominations. They underestimated Dean’s challengers, especially the two women who campaigned long and hard.

Dean also got careless. He was written up here for being delinquent in his real estate taxes. He is hauling trailer loads of waste material with a tractor that has not been inspected in this century. And when Joan Stalter defeated Jeff Loomis, Cal had to start thinking for himself and, for him, that was a difficult task indeed.

Not to be outdone by a Democrat, Republican Commissioner Lee Smith also got careless. He didn’t put that eleventh hour surge into his campaign as he had done in the past. He believed he was in like worn shoes. (Frankly, so did I.) But a candidate cannot let his guard down for a single minute in a campaign because someone is always waiting to counterpunch.

Then, too, the feeling here is that Lee overplayed the game of politics. Many times he would interrupt a commissioners’ meeting to praise someone or something. In the beginning, people in the audience ate it up but after a few times most knew that it was just another example of Lee’s political rhetoric. Not that individuals and organizations should never be praised, but when it becomes a routine part of a politician’s repertoire, it is no longer effective and, in fact, it gets nauseous.

Assuming the general election plays out as usual with two Republicans and one Democrat getting wins, how will Jeff Loomis react to serving on the Board of County Commissioners with two women? He claims to be a changed man with a more relaxing and friendly disposition than he displayed during his first term as a county commissioner. Can a leopard change its spots? I certainly hope so because Jeff will be expected to take the reins and guide the county into bigger and better things.

And, oh yes, my friends, a little addendum to the last sentence above. Do not confuse leadership with bossism. Jeff will probably emerge as chairman of the board and the women who serve with him will certainly look to him for guidance. I do not know Roberta Kelly that well, but I am told she has a mind of her own and she doesn’t hesitate to use it. Good for her.

One thing county taxpayers can expect from Jeff Loomis is a conservative approach to spending. He is not a spendthrift. And Jeff knows finances better than anyone else in county government with the possible exception of Treasurer Cathy Benedict. He can work wonders with a calculator and a spreadsheet.

There is one more fault of Jeff Loomis’s that I hope he has corrected. In his first term in office, he was not a team player. Every statement at public meetings, every article that was published, every campaign spiel that he made began and ended with "I." And it is true that he did carefully examine every line item in the county budget and made changes that held the line on taxes for three of the four years of his administration. However, I like the word "we" much better than "I."

I like it when a basketball player scores 25 or 30 points and during an interview says his teammates did a nice job of feeding him the ball. Or when a baseball pitcher hurls a no-hitter and says his teammates made some great defensive plays that prevented hits. Did his fellow commissioners contribute anything toward the tax-saving changes that Jeff made in the county budgets? Probably not. But even if they only voted in favor of the changes, they displayed some semblance of teamwork.

And, finally, another word of thanks to readers of this column for the cards, flowers and phone calls. You have no idea how much I appreciated hearing from people I do not even know. It was more than nice, it was great!

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Food For Thought

Timing is everything. Whether it is a business transaction, travel arrangements, entertainment, a comedian’s punch-line, and now it is apparent in health care as well.

We are all aware of the term bio-rhythm. This refers to the body’s internal clock. The body’s clock or rhythm is connected to the sun cycle.

Within the body, each of our systems has its own cycle, a time of peak activity and a time of slow activity or a resting cycle. Oriental medicine has been aware of this for centuries. Modern western medicine is beginning to pay attention to this as well.

Currently, research is showing that taking medication at specific times of the day increases the effectiveness of that medication. For instance, cholesterol is produced by the body in the evening more than any other time of day. Taking cholesterol medication in the evening is more effective at lowering blood cholesterol levels, than when it is taken at any other time of the day.

Arthritis is another disease with a rhythm. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, a common health problem, usually causes some early day pain and stiffness, that eases off with activity, then returns with a vengeance later in the day. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, frequently is most painful early in the day. Both are treated with the same type of medicine, Cox-2 inhibitors. Osteoarthritis, however responds better when the medication is taken in the morning, and rheumatoid when it is taken in the evening. This allows the medication level to peak in the body at the corresponding peak time of the problem.

Timing also lowers the side effects often associated with drug therapies.

Paying attention to these rhythms may even save your life.

Breast cancer research is showing that women who have surgery for breast cancer in the first half of their menstrual cycle have a higher death rate than those women who have surgery in the last half. Mammograms performed in the first half of the cycle are more diagnostic than those performed in the second half.

When you connect these findings to the changes that are taking place in the breast tissue at the different times of the cycle, the logic is apparent.

Each system of the body has its own cycle. These cycles have been well documented. However, western medicine has not taken advantage of these cycles, or even paid very much attention to them until recently. It can be to our advantage to begin to do so.

Scheduling routine health care around these cycles may maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.

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