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Issue Home July 8, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

Straight From Starrucca
Along the Way...With P. Jay
Joseph Smith's Susquehanna Years

Slices of Life

Collecting Board Games

We all know that I’m good at sitting, so it will come as no surprise that I like board games. At our latest yard sale my son showed up with Monopoly and Scrabble in his merchandise.

"I’ll buy those," I said before he even got them priced. I’m not sure who will play these games with me because no one I know seems to be into sitting around the table for hours playing Monopoly. But I was happier with these two slightly used games than I would have been with a Porsche.

These are not my only games. I have remnants of my children’s games stored in cardboard boxes in the attic. I usually can’t find them at the right moment, but they turn up later. Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Battleship, plus several theme-games of the 1970’s, like Barbie, and on and on.

One of the things I was selling at the yard sale was twin beds and a chest to match. I said, "I’m not moving those beds or emptying the chest unless someone is interested in them." So, when a young couple asked about the beds, we trudged up the stairs to take a look. I pulled off the bedspread, blanket, sheets and mattress pad so they could see the condition. We struck a deal and now it was time for the men to go to work taking the beds apart.

You have to understand that the area under beds has always been a horizontal closet in my house. Every bit of floor space is covered. And in this case the contents was mostly more games; Barnabas Collins, Parcheesi, Dominos, Operation...

The young man took one look and said to my son, "It looks like your mother could have another yard sale from this room." He was right, of course, but I hang on to these things for nostalgic reasons and also with hope that someday someone will want to play games with me.

You see these advertisements with whole families seated around the table, excitedly involved in an elaborate board game. The family of my childhood was game-players, only ours were not board games so much as caroms, cards and Chinese Checkers. That was before TV and, consequently, there were no games spun-off from TV programs.

But my husband and children were definitely not game people. Santa hopefully brought board games every year, but they never saw much action. My husband’s aversion to sit-down games was such that he and my sister were accused of washing paper plates after Christmas dinner at my Mom and Dad’s so they wouldn’t have to join the card game.

Last summer when the grandchildren were visiting I tried the just-put-the-game-in-sight ploy. Judiciously leaving the Dominoes on the kitchen table worked for a short game, but then they, too, wandered off.

But just on the chance that I may someday find someone who will play games with me, I will keep collecting and storing games. You never know who’s just around the corner with a scorecard.

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100 Years Ago

GREAT BEND: Burglars entered the store of P. H. Lines, securing considerable clothing, underwear and other articles. An attempt was made to enter by a rear window, but failing in this, one of the large plate-glass windows in the front was smashed and entrance gained through this aperture. The watch dog confined in the store evidently considered them welcome visitors.

NEW MILFORD: Col. C. C. Pratt recently bought an automobile but still says a horse is good enough for him. And the Colonel knows what [a] horse is.

HEART LAKE: The Fourth at Heart Lake passed off quietly, there being a much smaller attendance than anticipated. A society from Scranton, known as the Modern Woodmen of America, rented the grounds and ran an excursion. This society has about 500 members, and at least 1500 excursionists were figured on, but strange to say only about 200 came up. It was reported that 600 got on the wrong train and were taken to Binghamton.

MONTROSE: To live and board in Montrose and leave one's employment in a city as far away as Scranton is an unusual condition here, yet we have had for the past month a young lady, Miss Clara Oakley, who has boarded with her mother on Depot street, going back and forth daily to attend to her duties as stenographer in the office of S. B. Price, Scranton. This is not, however, so unusual in places lying out from the larger cities and the railroad makes a special and very low rate to this class of patrons who are compelled to buy monthly tickets. These "Commuter's tickets" were placed on sale in Montrose years ago, but Miss Oakley has been the only person to ever purchase. AND: The return of the hot sultry days cause our thoughts to turn with renewed appreciation to our faithful and obliging ice dealers, the Messrs. F. W. & S. E. Hart, who are always on the alert to take good care of their customers. Their ice is always pure and the coolest we ever saw.

SOUTH AUBURN: The McCoy boys from Hoboken, N.J. are spending their summer vacation at Harry Lowe's.

HOPBOTTOM: The Fourth of July celebration at this place was a success in every way. The parade was one of the best ever seen in a country town. $100 was received from the dinner and sale of ice cream. AND: Monday evening a meeting of those interested in the traveling library was held at Janaushek's store. Through the efforts of Miss Amelia Brown, a library of 50 books has been received for a period of six months.

ARARAT: The sudden out-break of small-pox in Thomson is causing some alarm among us poor fellers, for we don't want it to come any nearer. AND: The 29th of June, two months from the day of planting, Fred Brooks had new potatoes for dinner.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: Javan Sterling, of Hopbottom, has recently opened a meat market.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: Nearly everybody from this place attended the celebration at Birchardville on the Fourth, and all report a good time. Old men joined in the dance the Fourth that have not been able to stir, owing to rheumatism, in years. AND: That young man who used to drive past where his girl lived, Sunday evenings, must have stopped.

MIDDLETOWN: Well, the happy old 4th has come and gone, but it has left memories of olden times in the minds of many old people, including the old soldiers from '61 to '65. We had a fine day. The people had grand times at LeRaysville and at Birchardville. No accidents heard of yet, July the 4TH. AND: John Maloney is seen training his runner each day, expecting to take in some of the fairs the coming fall, after winning the race at Birchardville the 4th.

LENOXVILLE: Thursday, July 2d, Mrs. Elery Robinson pleasantly entertained the Soap Club, in which she is a member.

GLENWOOD: The 4th passed off very quietly at this place. No celebration to mention. The town was alive with out of town visitors from Nicholson and Mill City.

LANESBORO: At the home of Postmaster and Mrs. Nicholson, in Lanesboro, June 23, occurred the marriage of Alice Annette to Leslie Dewight Jones. They were attended by Miss Mabel Taylor and Mr. Valentine Soop. Two hours after, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James O. Taylor occurred the marriage of Mabel Edyth to Valentine Soop. They were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Jones. The two couples left on the D & H train for Albany and down the Hudson to New York. After a very pleasant trip they eturned to their homes in this place. Twelve of their young friends accompanied them as far as Nineveh. Needless to say they had rather a ricey time of it. We understand they used 130 pounds of rice on the happy couples.

SUSQUEHANNA: Sunday morning last, James E. Scanlon, assistant night yardmaster of the Erie, at this place, was found lying in the track near the depot, both legs having been run over and severed. He lived but a short time after being found and did not regain consciousness. How he met with the accident is a matter of conjecture only. Deceased was a gentleman well known and highly respected and has for many years been a faithful and valued employee of the Erie. He is survived by his wife and his father, John Scanlon, of Drinker Street. AND: Landlord Andy J. Ryan is the proud possessor of a 50 pound snapping turtle, which was captured in the highway in Oakland, a few days since. He's an old chap (the turtle, we mean), and bears a date upon his shell of 1873.

A SNAKE STORY: A big blacksnake wound itself around the leg of a horse belonging to Ernest Diamond as he was driving a few miles out of Waterloo Thursday. The beast leaped to one side and the reins fell to the ground. As the horse sprang forward, Diamond leaped on to the horse's back and tried to bring it to a standstill, but without success. At just that point Diamond was pitched into a brush heap wherein a swarm of bees had built a nest and was badly stung. The horse fell into a mud hole and was later pulled out by a team of horses. Binghamton, N.Y. Herald.

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ONE IN FAVOR, ONE NOT – Over the past several days, I met up with two Blue Ridge personnel. Naturally, the conversation turned to the merger of the football program of Susquehanna High School and Blue Ridge. Quoting one, "I can’t wait to see, or hear from parents of either Blue Ridge or Susquehanna students, when their child is ‘riding the bench’ for a long length of time." The other, "I believe that it is a good thing. It will make the athletes work harder to gain a spot on the team. As far as the parents are concerned, there will always be friction, regardless of whether the child sitting on the bench is a Susquehanna or Blue Ridge student." (Do I hear any objections to the merger by either Blue Ridge or Susquehanna parents? Just imagine, Blue Ridge students traveling to Susquehanna for home games and sitting on the bench, most of the time. Like the man said, "We will just have to wait and see what happens." The same goes for Saber parents. "Will you resent the fact that ‘your’ boy is sitting on the bench, a little more than usual?")

POST 357 Elects Officers – Members of the Hallstead–Great Bend American Legion Post 356 on June 18, elected officers for the ensuing year. They are:

American Legion: Commander, Rick Rood; First Vice, Russ McCracken; Second Vice, Bryan Rinker; Adjutant, John Bennett; Finance Officer, Tom Wood; Chaplain, Dan Dooley; Service Officer, William Kienzler; Judge Advocate, Mike Welch; Historian, Don Gruber; Sgt. at Arms, John Lawson; Executive Board, Past Commander Terry Rafferty.

Post Auxiliary officers: President, Pat Yonkin; Vice President, Peggy Merwin; Secretary, Karen Sinnett; Treasurer, Doreen Wood; Historian, Evelyn Woolbaugh; Chaplain, Irene Welch; Sgt. at Arms, Maria Calla.

Sons of Legion: Commander, Andy Kovitch; First Vice, Dale Jesse; Second Vice, Earl Lindsey; Adjutant, Don Horvatt; Treasurer, Roger Rinker; Sgt. at Arms, Dave Axtell; Historian, Gary Richardson; Chaplain, Andy Pickney, Jr.

FIASCHI SCHOLARSHIP Award – The recipient of the Mariano and Maria (Lampazzi) Fiaschi Nursing Scholarship was Maria Christina Reavey, the Susquehanna High School Senior Class Salutatorian. The award was made possible by a contribution to the school by the late Colonel Peter Fiaschi, son of Mariano and Maria Fiaschi.

BASEBALL TRIVIA – (A) Who were the only players in Major League history to play all nine positions? (B) Who scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning for the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the World Series? (C) Who set a Major League record in 1962 for most games played in a season with 165? (D) Where did the Yankees hold their first spring training in 1903? Answers at end of column.

MORRIS AND HIS WIFE, Esther, went to the state fair every year. And every year, Morris would say, "Esther, I’d like to ride in that airplane."

"I know, Morris," Esther would reply, "but that airplane ride costs $50, and $50 is $50."

One year, the couple went to the fair and Morris said, "Esther, I’m 85 years old. If I don’t ride that airplane, I might never get another chance."

"Morris," Esther replied, "That airplane ride costs $50, and $50 is $50."

The pilot overheard them and said, "Folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won’t charge you. But if you say even one word, it’s $50." Morris and Esther agreed, and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word was heard. He did all his tricks again and still not a word.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, "By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell, but you didn’t."

"Well," Morris replied, "I was going to say something when Esther fell out, but $50 is $50."

ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, a lady stood up at the local pub and said it was time to get ready for the celebration. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living. The bartender was almost crushed to death.

BASEBALL ANSWERS: (A) Bert Campaneris, Shane Halter, Scott Sheldon, Cesar Tovar. (B) Jay Bell. (C) Maury Wills. (D) Atlanta, GA.

IN HOSPITAL – Mrs. Dorothy Holmes, Susquehanna’s outstanding poet, who contributed many poems to the Transcript, is a patient in Mercy Hospital. If you care to send a card her address is: Dorothy Holmes, c/o Mercy Hospital, room 827, Scranton, PA 18501.

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Straight From Starrucca

June 27, 28 and 29 the descendants of Irving and Maggie Buck held a family reunion in the form of a camporee on the Erk farm above the falls.

Some of the campers put up thirteen tents, and others came in seven campers. Hailing from Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the local families, all enjoyed a beautiful weekend. The oldest was Russell Chaffee, from Sayre, PA who married Phyllis Buck, and the youngest was Megan, daughter of Wesley and Amy Buck.

Last Thursday, grandma Joy Mead, daughters Dawn Romanofski and Chris Christianson drove to Hershey Medical Center to have the cast taken off Chris’ son, Richard’s (R.C.) foot, which had been on for six weeks to better align his foot and toes. He’s hoping not to have another cast.

The father of our minister of the Thompson Charge has passed away. The funeral services were July 4, conducted by his son, Brian Lucas, the minister. Sympathy is extended to the family.

Dawn and Michael Romanofski, Jacksonville, Florida have come to spend a few days here, visiting relatives and returning home with their two sons, who have been spending six weeks with their grandmother, Joy Mead.

Sorry to report that Vivian and Gifford Baker are not feeling up to par. Their daughter from Florida is coming up to help them out.

Kirk and Alice Rhone, Julia and Leann attended the wedding of Amy Tinklepaugh to William Collins at the Methodist Church in Susquehanna last Wednesday.

Coming up, Thursday, July 10, a turkey buffet at the Starrucca Methodist Church. Takeouts at 4:30, buffet at 5 p.m. A slight change in the menu I think you’d enjoy.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) once said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart."


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Go get ’em Jim!

No matter how you regarded Jim Jennings as a candidate for county commissioner, you gotta give the guy a lotta credit for persistence and tenacity. Not only does this guy refuse to give in, but the words "back off " simply do not exist in his vocabulary. Hell, it bothers him when he has to back up his car.

Perhaps that is why Jim is appealing a decision by First Assistant District Attorney Jason Legg that Jennings’ allegations of illegal work sessions on the part of challenging the legality of Ron Millard’s firing from the county maintenance staff lacks prosecutorial merit.

Jennings believes he is right on both counts and has filed an appeal with the Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas. He also believes that the commissioners are guilty of flagrant and ongoing violations of the state’s Sunshine Law. Wanna know something, I think Jennings is right.

The time has come for our county commissioners to be more than responsive to the needs of their constituents. They must function within the framework of the law and stop laboring under the impression that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no accountability.

The belief here is that Jim Jennings is right and that what he is pursuing can only help everyone who believes elected officials should put their best foot forward at all times. Good for you Jim.

Smoke free?

Last week, the Susquehanna County Jail Board voted to make the county jail smoke free. However, to borrow an old proverb, the end must justify the means. In this case it doesn’t.

It is smoke free to the extent that the prisoners cannot smoke anywhere inside the jail or on the prison grounds. The guards - or correction officers if that’s what you prefer to call them - cannot smoke in front of the prisoners. But the guards can smoke in a staff room and they can step outside and light up near the front door.

Would a restaurant be called smoke free if the customers could not smoke but the cooks could light up in the kitchen? I do not suppose anyone has written a true definition of "smoke free." When someone gets around to it, the feeling here is that it will not allow a building to be labeled smoke free if smoking is allowed anywhere inside it.

Commissioners are not history buffs

Do you know there is almost 200 years of historical information stored in the Susquehanna County Courthouse? Data compiled and neatly stored away in the former gymnasium of the Warner School, which is now part of the courthouse complex, dates back to 1813. That, my friends, is a lot of history. There are also copies of old newspapers, specifically the Montrose Republican and Montrose Democrat, which subsequently merged and became the Montrose Independent. Two or three years ago, the county commissioners decided that Historical Records was not worthy of providing county residents with full-time service. The decision was reached a few short years after the department was created and at a time when it was becoming an intricate part of legal and genealogy research. Title researchers were somewhat disturbed by the commissioners’ actions.

At present, Historical Records is in the capable hands of Shari Whitney. However, since HR is only open a couple of days a week, Shari fills her time card working in the Recorder of Deeds office and in the commissioners’ office.

The opinion here is that Historical Records should be restored to full time so the people of Susquehanna County can enjoy researching the county’s history as well as their own family trees. To have all that history just sitting in a vacant room when 40,000 county residents could be enjoying it is a damn shame.

Only in Forest City

Forest City Regional School Director Ken Goben is selling his home in Forest City and word has it that he plans to build a new home across the river in Wayne County. I am sure this wasn’t a snap decision but something Ken gave considerable thought. Ken’s term is up at the end of this year and since his home in Forest City has a "sale pending" sign on it, one can assume that come next January, he may not be living in the district he now represents.

The $64,000 question is why did Ken file for reelection when he knew he would probably be leaving the district he represents before his new term would begin? The answer appears to be for political expediency. Ken would rather allow the Board of Education the privilege of hand-picking his replacement than let anyone from the district run for his seat.

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Joseph Smith’s Susquehanna Years

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth and final part in a series on the life of Joseph Smith in relation to our area. The County Transcript has received permission from the author, Larry C. Porter to reproduce any part or part in celebration of Susquehanna’s Sesquicentennial (150 year) celebration.

From Home to Home

While the Prophet Joseph Smith was detained by the court officers, Emma found some comfort at the home of her sister, Elizabeth Hale Wasson, who lived in the adjoining township of Windsor with her husband, Benjamin. We do not know for a certainty the exact building sites where the Prophet’s trials were held other than their taking place in the village of South Bainbridge and somewhere in the town of Colesville. Joseph was exonerated of the charges in both instances. Joseph Knight Sr. stated, "They could find no thing against him; therefore he was dismissed." The moment he was free to go his way, he went directly to the Wasson home in the town of Windsor and took Emma to the welcome shelter of their homestead in Harmony.

The spirit of revelation was again manifest at Harmony as the voice of the Lord was given through His servant Joseph Smith unto "Emma Smith, my daughter" in July 1830. The Lord addressed Emma as an "elect lady" and called her to the work. Amidst the blessings and admonitions that followed, Emma was given the charge to "make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church," a command which was later carried out in 1835 during the Kirtland period.

Because the evening meeting which followed the Colesville baptisms was interrupted by the arresting constable, Emma Smith and Sally Coburn Knight were among those who had not yet been confirmed members of the Church. In early August, Newel and Sally Coburn Knight made a personal visit to the Prophet’s home at Harmony, where the two couples and John Whitmer held a special confirmation service and partook of the sacrament. It was on this occasion that the Prophet was met by a heavenly messenger as he went out to procure wine for the sacrament. He was given the instruction "that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory - remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins." The Prophet was also told not to purchase wine of enemies but to "partake of none except it is made new among you." Newel said, "We confirmed the two sisters into the church, and spent the evening in a glorious manner. The spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us. We praised the God of Israel and rejoiced exceedingly."

Once again the clamor of Joseph’s enemies in Harmony became such that he and Emma responded to the invitation of the Whitmer family to stay with them. At the end of August 1830 they made their move. For Emma it was a particularly heartrending moment. As circumstances developed this proved to be the last time that she would share the embrace of her parents or visit the grave of her infant son.

The Prophet did return briefly one last time to the Susquehanna area as an outgrowth of an assignment from the Lord that he and Sidney Rigdon not go to the Ohio "until ye have preached my gospel in those parts, and have strengthened up the church withersoever it is found, and more especially in Colesville; for, behold, they pray unto me in much faith." In January 1831 the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon went to Colesville and held several gatherings at Joseph Knight Sr.’s home. John Whitmer informed us that "they held prayer meetings, among the disciples, and they also held public meetings but it was all in vain, they [enemies of the Church] threatened to kill them." Joseph Knight Sr. said that the Prophet and Sidney not only came to Colesville but also made a hurried trip "down to Harmony to settle some business." This was the last visit of the Prophet to the Susquehanna area.

Joseph Knight Sr., a great friend and benefactor of the Prophet Joseph, continued to assist. He took the Prophet and Emma from New York to Kirtland, Ohio, during January-February 1831. He also conveyed his own wife and an unmarried daughter, Polly, with him. Brother Knight never looked back but said good-bye to his Colesville property with its "one hundred and forty-two acres... two dwelling houses, a good barn, and a fine orchard," linking himself unequivocally with the Prophet Joseph and the earliest scenes of the Restoration. Some 68 members of the Colesville Branch followed him to Ohio in April-May 1831.

Remembering Harmony

Years later, while seeking seclusion from his enemies near Nauvoo, the Prophet greeted Emma, who had come to be by his side. On that occasion he looked in retrospect on their early experiences together in Pennsylvania, New York, and elsewhere. A flood of poignant memories filled his mind as he reflected: "With what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on that night, my beloved Emma - she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble - undaunted, firm, and unwavering, unchangeable, affectionate Emma!"

There is still a spirit of peace that lingers over the banks of the "great bend" of the Susquehanna and its environs. The lives of those Saints who embraced the unpopular new religious cause in that quarter were irreversibly changed. During the call to "assemble together at the Ohio," it is sad that for a multiplicity of reasons some members fell by the wayside and remained behind. However, the majority chose to ally their fortunes with the Church, and they and their numerous posterity now enjoy the everlasting blessings of the covenants they kept with the Lord.

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I have had it. I am sooo tried of turning on my computer and hitting the send/receive button to discover that there are thousands of places out there that know my computer address – and then it is compounded by swinging automatically into Hot Mail. Can you imagine, I can’t go away. I am held hostage by the hundreds of e-mails I get over a few days’ time. I have determined I am going to stop this and in case you are in the same position, here are a couple of places I have checked out: does a great job (it was recommended by a friend and the first 30 days are free).

Then, there is The latter one seems to cover everything. The last one you might want to take a gander at is This is a global Do Not Contact List. You will discover everything comes with a price, but for piece of mind this is a choice you will make, if it is important.

Now, let’s get into some of the stuff we get as a by-product for enjoying the summer. Here are some places I checked for the cure, if any should end up a bit red and in absolute agony: check out This is a very interesting place to look as well as You can not only affect a cure for sunburn, but this site teaches you about a ot of other ailments that may be amenable to cure naturally. Of course, basic sun safety tips can be found at This is the site of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Well, that’s for the outside of you, and the following are for the inside-out. I thought I’d look at walking or jogging so I went to

A fun Disney place for the whole family regarding this subject can be accessed as

Occasionally, I like to go through stuff for the pooch of the family. On the subject of sunburn I have discovered that you should not let him/her stick his/her head out the window, and he/she should not be shaved; there’s a lot more advice. Some of the site names are pretty funny like You will find the information at useful. Now, as for taking your dog on vacation this is a really neat site: and is great for an article to read.

Okay, time for the old swimming and fishing hole (well, maybe not so old, but certainly fun), go to for the first and then see Check the site out completely for locations. The old familiar is useful. When all is said and done and you want a feast with the fish as a main course, check out for fish grilling recipes, and you must register to get into but for what they offer it may be worth your while.

You’ll recognize me with the green cap that says "Camp Chaplain" on its brim and the fishing pole in my hand when you go fishing – and right now I’m out the door!

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