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Issue Home July 22, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

Straight From Starrucca
Along the Way...With P. Jay

Slices of Life

Coming Home

What a difference a few days make! I arrived home from my Chicago trip to find many changes in the landscape. Driving up my street, I got the feeling that something was different. You know how it is when you can’t quite figure out what has changed, but you know something is out of place? When I started to back the car into the driveway, I suddenly realized that my neighbor’s big maple tree that I had used for a guide all these years was gone. Instead of a dead standing tree, there was a neat pile of wood between my driveway and his. I knew immediately that my son had been here in my absence because he and this neighbor had discussed that tree the day of the yard sale.

That knowledge of his visit was further confirmed when I stepped into my basement to find it cleaned and re-arranged. We have fundamental differences on what a basement is all about.

I was amazed at what a difference four days had made in my other neighbor’s garden. Vegetables that had not even broken through the soil when I left were now a few inches high and looking very vigorous. My meager plants were a bit taller, but not substantially so.

But, to my delight, I found that the black raspberries were ripe on the profusion of brambles growing up through the forsythia bush. This is the best year ever for these canes that had to have been planted by the birds.

My tame raspberries are a real disappointment this year, however. I’m not sure what happened to them, but they aren’t producing berries of any size or quantity.

While inspecting my back yard, I could see that my neighbor’s clematis was now showing off an extravagant array of purple flowers. Clematis is breathtaking. And the day lilies in another neighbor’s back yard are about at their peak.

The other change I noticed upon my return is that the sweet corn and cantaloupe now taste like the real thing. I had delicious corn on the cob last night. That is one of the highlights of summer for me.

Many changes had occurred in a short time, but the one constant was my dear friend and buddy, Mrs. Morris. Expecting that she might be stressed and unhappy at having her routine changed and someone new taking care of her, I was pleased to see that she was perfectly content. When she saw me, she rolled back and forth on the floor, took a bath, teased for more food, and even let me pet her a little. This was good because I have been known to limit my travel out of deference to her happiness. Is it possible that I’m over-sensitive to a pet’s wishes?

I was treated to a fun-filled vacation with a picnic in the park and an outdoor concert by the Chicago symphony, dinner with friends at a fancy restaurant, a much-needed facial, a personal writing lesson, plus time with family and my two wonderful grand-dogs. And as always, as much fun as it is to get away, it’s now good to be back home in my comfortable routine.

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100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: The stockholders of the proposed knitting mill to be located in Forest City, held a meeting and effected an organization. It was decided to name the concern the Anthracite Knitting mills, and the capital was fixed at $15,000. AND: Mrs. Margaret Evans instituted proceedings to recover $30,000 damages, from the Scranton Railway company, for the death of her husband who was killed on the Carbondale line last January. It is alleged that he was jostled off a crowded car between Carbondale and Forest City and allowed to lie unconscious where he fell until another car came along and crushed out his life.

AUBURN: The residents along the route connecting Auburn Centre and Meshoppen are striving to secure rural free delivery. The prospects are considered bright. AND: in West Auburn Mr. and Mrs. Fred Swackhammer, with their 8 children and 12 grandchildren, 7 daughters and 1 son, of whom 4 daughters and son are married, camped at the Lake, Thursday, something unusual for so aged a couple.

HALLSTEAD/GREAT BEND: The postponed races of the Hallstead and Great Bend Horse Breeders Association will be held on Saturday afternoon July 25. Races begin at 2 o'clock P.M. sharp. The program will consist of [a] three minute race; 2:40 race, mixed; running race; ladies' driving race; bicycle race; motor cycle race; automobile race; foot race. Liberal premiums are offered. Bullard's Band will furnish the music. Remember the date, Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock P.M.

MONTROSE: Montrose was defeated here, Wednesday, in an eleven-inning game with Camp Choconut, the score being 5-4. The game was well played and contested hotly from first to last, but a lucky hit by Whipple in the first of the 11th brought in a man, and our boys failed to score in the last half and the game was theirs. Carey pitched a fine game, not allowing a single player to walk and struck out 12 men. Gardiner did all around good work and his double, unassisted, was up to the limit. Over two score came over from Camp Choconut, Liveryman Harrington conveying them both ways by means of three four-in-hands. They were a jolly lot of young men and in the future Montrose will endeavor to defeat them as fairly as they did the home team.

SUSQUEHANNA: The work of razing the old Universalist church edifice is in progress. Benjamin Glidden will build a double residence building upon its site. AND: At Columbian Grove in August, E. R. W. Searle will dump a carload of rock salt in the river near his summer cottage and endeavor to raise salt water clams. He has the formula from a New Haven expert. AND: The quarantine has been lifted from Hogan Opera House.

LANESBORO: The quarantine has been removed from the Methodist church and services will be held therein next Sunday morning.

HARFORD: The telegraph men that are stringing a wire from Binghamton to this place stayed at Seaman's boarding house over Sunday.

SPRINGVILLE: Work on the Narrow Gauge railroad is getting on nicely, the third-rail being laid nearly here. The piers at the Meshoppen Creek bridge are being strengthened to receive the new bridge, which is at Tunkhannock. AND: Strickland & Winnie have purchased a team and wagon for hauling stone from their quarry to the railroad.

FRANKLIN FORKS: Mrs. Owen Tiffany serves ice cream on the lawn at their home here. If not pleasant it is served in the house. So all lovers of ice cream take notice. Every Saturday evening their lawn is nicely fitted up with swings, croquet and lit up with Japanese lanterns, making it very pleasant for the guests.

THOMSON: Prof. O. E. French, of Creston, Ia., called on friends here this week, on his return trip to the Boston National Education Convention. He was a former county superintendent of this county and is now superintendent of city schools.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: Postmaster A. L. Mack has purchased the undertaking business of his father, E. P. Mack. We learn that A. L. Mack will build a saw mill and shingle mill in the near future on the site of the one recently destroyed by fire.

NEW MILFORD: A New York dispatch dated July 22, says: "Mrs. Adelaide Hawley was instantly killed and Mrs. Hattie Elbretch was very seriously injured as a result of an automobile accident near Manhattan Beach last night. Both women are from New Milford, Pa. and were visiting Mrs. Hawley's son, Edward E., of 12th street, Brooklyn. They went to Manhattan Beach yesterday afternoon in a big Mercedes machine and were returning home about midnight when the mishap occurred. Mr. Hawley was steering the machine, which was bowling along at a fast clip. He cut a corner too sharp and crashed into the curb with such force as to cause a sudden stop. The occupants were thrown into the roadway and Mrs. Hawley suffered a broken neck. Mrs. Hawley's two sons, Arthur and LeRoy, went to New York with the intention of bringing her remains home."

SILVER LAKE: W. J. Sullivan and P. J. O'Day captured a wild eagle at Mud Lake that measured 6 1/2 ft. across the wings.

LENOXVILLE: Oscar Miller, who as been suffering with a slight attack of appendicitis, is a little better at this writing. He is attended by Dr. Fike, of Dundaff.

ARARAT: Mrs. Wm. McMurray and daughter, Madeline, of Brooklyn, N.Y., are the guests of friends here. Mrs. McMurray will return to Brooklyn this week but Miss Madeline will spend the summer here. George Nott and sister, Miss Hilda Nott, of Bayonne, N. J., are boarding for the summer at the pleasant home of Mr. Mock.

FAIRDALE: During the shower on Tuesday of last week lightning struck J.B. McKeeby's house, knocking the chimney to pieces, going down the stove pipe into the room where Mrs. McKeeby was sitting. She being sick, was sitting up a short time and they were just going to help her into bed when the clap came; it struck the bed and split every post in it. If she had been in bed it no doubt would have killed her. AND: Claude Allen has bought of the heirs of J. H. Rosenkrans, deceased, the lot on which the dwelling house and store stands and hired George Ralston to come over from South Montrose and move his [Claude's] feed store, which stood near the Grange Hall, down to the lot.

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Everyone Should Have A Photo I. D.

If you are a Pennsylvania driver and would like to receive a non-driver photo ID card, complete form DL-81. The photo ID card clearly indicates that it is not a driver’s license. It remains valid for a period of four years.

The photo identification card costs $10.00 for four years. It is available free to drivers ordered by the Department to surrender their driver’s license for medical reasons or who voluntarily surrender their drivers license for health reasons, which may affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Free photo ID cards are also issued to drivers ordered by the Department to retake the driver’s exam and cannot pass the driving, knowledge, or vision portion of the test.

Individuals who have never held a PA driver’s license may apply for a photo ID card (Form DL-54A) at any Driver License Center. You will need to present your Social Security card, proof of residency and any one of the following forms of identification containing your date of birth to the examiner when applying for this identification card (no photocopies accepted): birth certificate, certification of birth (state issued, with raised seal); valid US passport; valid foreign passport (accompanied by an I-94); certificate of United States citizenship (INS form N-560); certificate of naturalization (INS form N-550 or 570); non-resident out-of-state driver’s license; military photographic ID card; alien registration receipt cards (INS form I-51 or I-551); marriage record (must contain your date of birth).

For more information on these or other services of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of Bureau of Drive Licensing call 1-800-932-4600.

NEW HELMET LAW – Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has signed into law a bill that will allow motorcyclists to choose whether they want to wear a helmet. Riders under 21 must wear helmets, starting September 4. Medical and insurance groups are not in favor of the new law, saying it will increase injuries, as well as the cost of medical expenses. (I agree and say it’s a poor decision.)

DID YOU KNOW that Vernon "Lefty" Gomez of the Yankees was the winning pitcher in the first All Star game played in 1933. That Carl Hubbell of the NY Giants won 18 games in a row. That Jim Kaat, Yankee broadcaster won 25 games for Minnesota in 1966. That Casey Stengel won seven World Series and lost two. That Ty Cobb, with Detroit Tigers, had five hits or more in a game 14 times. That, as of 1982 Warren (Lefty) Spahn was the best Lefty, winning 363 games in 21 years in the majors, pitched in seven All Star games and had 2,581 strikeouts. That Al Rosen of the Cleveland Indians, as a rookie hit 37 home runs in 1950 (a record at the time). In the early 1900’s Branch Rickey was "cut loose" from the Cincinnati Reds for refusing to play on Sundays. That Babe Herman of the old Brooklyn Dodgers hit for cycle (single-double-triple home run) in one game three times in 1931. That in 1958, the World Series player payoff was: each Yankee player received $8,759.10; each Milwaukee Brave $5,896.08. (A far cry from what they earn today.) That Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox in 1958 won the batting title at age 40 (he hit .328). That the Chicago Cubs have been in the National League since 1876 (and I believe have played in only one World Series). That Phil Rizzuto played for only one major team, the Yankees, during his career from 1941 to 1956 for 1,661 games, with time off for serving in the military; he had a lifetime average of .273 and is still in the Hall of Fame. That Christy Mathewson (from nearby Factoryville) in his rookie year, 1901 with the NY Giants, won 20 games, lost 17.

VA HEADSTONE RULE – the federal government has changed its stand about not furnishing a VA headstone if a veteran’s grave already has a headstone. Now, veterans who died since September 11, 2001 can receive a VA headstone even if their graves already have a privately provided headstone. This change in the rules applies to everyone eligible for a VA headstone, including veterans, people who die on active duty, and some reservists.

The government will ship the headstone or marker free of charge, but it will not pay for placement. VA will replace headstones and markers previously provided by the government if they are badly deteriorated, illegible, stolen or vandalized.

CANCEL PHONE CALLS – people in the Eastern US can fight back against telemarketing calls by making a telephone call of their own Monday when registration begins for the national do-not-call list in their part of the country. The free service has accepted on-line registrations nationwide and phone sign-ups in states west of the Mississippi since June 27.

People had registered nearly 17 million phone numbers by Thursday, the last day for which figures were available.

The toll-free number, 1-888-382-1222 was rolled out in stages to ensure the system could handle the volume of calls. Callers to the number must use the phone they want registered.

A MAN GETS A JOB with the county painting lines down the center of the highway. The supervisor tells him he is expected to paint two miles of highway a day, and the man goes to work immediately. The first day he paints four miles. "Great," the supervisor thinks. The next day the man paints two miles, but the supervisor thinks, "Well, that’s good enough." The third day the man only paints one mile.

"What’s the problem?" his boss asks. "An injury? Some reason you keep painting less and less of the highway?"

The man replies, "Well, I keep getting farther and farther from the bucket."

AN ARMY RECRUIT who wasn’t meant to be a soldier went out to the rifle range for the first time. He missed every target and most of the hills behind them. Despondent, he said to the sergeant, "I think I’ll just go and shoot myself."

"Better take a couple of extra bullets," the sergeant replied.

"NOT ALL CHEMICALS are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer."

ANSWER TO Horse Riddle – The three sons went "next door" and borrowed a horse, giving them 18. First son received one-half, nine horses; second son, one-third, six horses; third son, one-ninth, two horses. Total 17 horses. They gave the farmer back his (18th) horse.

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Straight From Starrucca

The weekend of the eleventh to the fourteenth was a very busy one at the Upright home. On Friday evening three full cars of relatives arrived from Florida. Gina Upright’s sister, Vicki and husband, George Walker from Clearwater and their children; Ben and wife, Kelly, Largo; Lisa, Clearwater; Tina and husband and their two children, New Port Richie. To complement this crew were Bradley and Jean Upright, Williamsport, their two children, Erica and Chandra, and their two daughters, Tara and Cayla; David and Christine Upright, Bangor, PA; James Walker and Lori Wimmer, Rochester, NY; Brett Upright, Modena, NY; Brent and Mary Pat, Windsor, NY; and Gina’s ninety-five year old aunt, Lynn Kimble, who came with the help of her nephew, Art Kopp.

On Saturday, the twelfth, a party convened at the home of Brenda and Bob Reddon, Germantown Crossing, for a family reunion; about seventy Uprights and Kopps were present. On the thirteenth, Gina served twenty-one a pancake breakfast and fifteen for supper. By Monday they all had left for their respective homes, excepting Lori and James, who were going camping at Indian Lake, NY.

Saturday, Loreda and Paul Everett invited Barb and Roger Glover to go with them to Lookout, PA, to see a demonstration of the workings of an old-time saw mill, which is an historic landmark in Wayne County, the Hill Sawmill.

Nelson and Phyllis Dickey arrived Friday night. On Saturday, Phyllis and I attended a bridal shower for Michelle Smith in Endwell. Michelle is the fiancée of my grandson, David Dickey, Dan’s son. The wedding will take place October 11, 2003.

Nelson took his free time to visit Wendell Swartz and his aunt Helen Dickey and Maxine.

Joyce Thorn, lay speaker, had the service in the Methodist Church, Sunday, the thirteenth.

Norman Mead, Daytona, Florida spent two days with his relatives here, attending a family reunion at brother Dick’s home, the old homestead near Preston Park, and on Sunday spent the day with sister-in-law, Joy Mead. Norm, who married June Thorn was delighted to have his daughter, Tammy come with them; she was on leave from Saudi Arabia. They turned home Monday, the fourteenth. June and Tammy had a long visit with mom and grand-mom, Madeline Thorn, Susquehanna.

The Baptist Ladies are sponsoring a lawn supper, Thursday, July 24 at 5 p.m. This past Saturday they catered a chicken and biscuit dinner for the Sampson reunion. More about the reunion later.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

PennDOT Will NOT

Guess what? I received a letter from Harrisburg concerning my claim for damage to my vehicle when I hit a pothole. You can almost guess what it said, but I will give you an abbreviated version of what I received.

It seems payment of claims against the Commonwealth are controlled by Act 152 that was passed in 1978.

According to the letter, the act "reaffirms Sovereign Immunity and at the same time waives immunity in nine specific areas with certain limitations. One area specifically not waived is property/vehicle damage caused by potholes, sinkholes, and/or conditions created by the natural elements.

"While we regret your misfortune in this incident, we are bound by the provisions of the Act and must respectfully deny this claim."

Oh, by the way, the letter did not come from PennDOT. It was forwarded to the Department of General Services and they answered me. Kind of makes my point covered in last week’s column.

* * * * * *

Ivan’s At It Again

If Susquehanna County Republican Chairman Ivan Burman would drop his lug wrench and pick up a baton he could probably become a guest conductor for the Boston Pops. He has more ideas than Pennsylvania has potholes – and that’s saying a lot. And it seems he always comes up a winner.

Ivan’s latest political jubilation is a "Get Lost in the 50’s & 60’s Night" featuring The Poets, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s most successful oldies’ band. The event will be held Thursday, Aug. 7 at (where else?) Burman’s palatial estate in Ararat Township. As with most of Burman’s political activities, the guest of honor will be Congressman Don Sherwood. Undoubtedly, proceeds from the event will be pumped into Sherwood’s campaign chest.

Senator Arlen Specter is also listed as a special guest, as is Ohio Congressman John Boehner. I may attend just to watch Don Sherwood do the Watusi and Arlen Specter, the twist.

The host committee reads like a Who’s Who in Susquehanna County Politics and the honored guests includes some impressive state GOP office holders, candidates, and some of the party’s top brass.

* * * * * *

Dems Just Don’t Get It

While Ivan Burman continues to feed Republicans and fatten Don Sherwood’s war chest, word on the street has it that Democrats are picking sides rather than endorsing the self-proclaimed team of Kathy Shelly and MaryAnn Warren for county commissioners.

I am told that County Chairman Joey Franks is pushing Kathy while former chairman Joe Plonski is supporting MaryAnn. One cannot help but wonder why the State Democratic Organization doesn’t send someone into the county to talk some sense into these guys. Just because of their apparent dislike for each other it is certainly no excuse for not supporting all Democratic candidates.

But, as I mentioned here so many times in the past, Susquehanna County Democratic leaders have always believed their party is destined to remain the minority party forever. And even when the Democratic candidates agree to team up and try to put an end to a lifetime of Republican rule in the county, the so-called party leaders refuse to accept it.

* * * * * *

Let George Do It

Well, not exactly, actually Christina is doing it.

George Starzec, one of the three capable county auditors, has entered the food business. Well, sort of. George and Christina Sherman, both of Montrose, have joined forces to create Country Friend’s Bakery, a new addition to the downtown Montrose business district. But it is Christina’s homemade baked goods that are the feature attraction. Although with the hot spell we have been experiencing, their variety of soft ice cream delicacies is also moving pretty good.

We wish them much success.

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