Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript

Watch This space for information on upcoming events in Susquehanna County.

Please visit our kind sponsors

Issue Home July 29, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

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

Slices of Life

The Legacy

I have just completed day three of the writer’s conference. One of its highlights for a voracious reader like me is the free magazines. The samples are for us to peruse at home as a way to get ideas for markets for the stories we plan to write. So tonight I found myself on the front porch reading a publication called "Keepers At Home," in which I found a whole section on preserving fruits and vegetables.

I’ve always been intrigued by the grow it-preserve it-store it way of life. Just this week I’ve been drying dandelion leaves. A walk down back to my unplanted garden plot found a new crop of dandelions just right for picking. I dug them, washed them and dried them in my dehydrator.

"Why would anyone want to dry dandelions?" you ask. And the answer is that they are full of calcium and vitamins. We’re talking cost-free nutrition here. Through the winter I will crumble them in soups and salads. My dandelion supply from last summer was depleted long before the winter was done.

All this reading about preserving foods tugged at memories of my mother. Mom preserved everything edible. She canned, froze, cracked and dried. The canner went long into the night nearly all summer. She not only canned fruits and vegetables, but also beef, venison, chicken, and side pork.

One of my most-cherished memories of canned goods concerned chicken. When I was about ten, my older sister arrived home late from a county music festival and she was hungry. Now at my present house that would mean a bowl of cereal or a sandwich. But there were many of us home that night and probably one person being hungry meant we were all hungry. Down cellar went Mom and came back up carrying a two-quart jar of canned chicken parts. Using the now gelatinous broth, she made gravy, and while the cut-up chicken parts warmed in this, she set about making a double batch of her famous biscuits. At ten o’clock we were all sitting down to a bedtime snack of chicken and biscuits! These late, lavish meals were not an uncommon thing. Whenever people were gathered at her house, night or day, home-cooked food appeared on the table.

The article’s reference to drying food also brought to mind the Christmas gift my husband got from Mom one year. Knowing his love of dried apples, she gave him a quart Mason jar full of dried apple slices and a pint jar of cracked hickory nuts. Ever try to crack a hickory nut and get the meat out in edible chunks? It’s quite a feat and means many hours with a sad iron and a hammer.

Now the apple slices had an unique flavor. A dried apple tastes like a pale version of an apple, but these had a hint of another flavor. It took us some time before we could figure it out. It was sort of smoky tasting, like a hickory-smoked ham. How could that be? We knew that Mom dried her produce on a cookie sheet on top of the old steam radiator, but how would that contribute to the smoky taste? It was a mystery. Suddenly one day, out of the blue, my husband said, "I’ve got it! I figured out how Milly’s apples got smoked." And he was right. At that time Mom and Dad were both heavy-duty smokers. And they had lots of company that were smokers. The air would be thick after about so many hands of pinochle. And that was the secret of the smoky dried apples.

When I stop to think of it, Mom put her individual stamp on everything. That’s probably why every time the family gathers there’s a "remember when Milly?" story. We should all leave such a legacy.

Back to Top

100 Years Ago

RUSH: Over 15 years ago, the writer visited the once noted Mineral Spring, in this locality, and on Sunday afternoon again drove to the spot. Midway between the hotel and the spring we stopped to chat with a friend at Farview Farm – a delightful country place which commands a wide range of view of excellent farm-lands – the home of Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Pickett. When we reached the old spring from which thousands have drunk of its cool and health-giving waters, we were amazed to note the change in its surroundings. What was once a charming place has fallen into complete disuse, and the old grove near the spring is scarcely ever visited now. A bit of history, so far as my memory allows, is not inappropriate here, regarding this historic spot. The plot of land originally belonged to the old Drinker estate. After several years, during which time its name and fame was quite generally recognized, in the year 1869, E. S. Butterfield, Esq., of Syracuse, and his brother, A. D. Butterfield, of Montrose, purchased the land and made preparations for bottling and selling the water. They erected a large and attractive summer hotel, which stood on a high and stately hill above the spring. The place received a liberal patronage from invalids hailing from all parts of the country, many of whom were greatly benefited by the baths, etc. Prosperity and popularity reigned undisturbed here until 1896(?) when fire broke out and destroyed the hotel, which has never been rebuilt. It is said a fish will not live but two or three hours in this water. When the resort was in its prime, people to the number of 700 a day have been known to visit the spring.

ELK LAKE: C. M. Young and F. A. Green are selling a number of mowing machines and horse rakes to the farmers in this neighborhood.

SOUTH GIBSON: A sister of Mrs. Jerry Bennett's, formerly Miss Vida Young [married Charles Heisig, of Beaumont, Texas], with two children and a nurse, arrived here from Texas ten days ago. The little boy was taken sick with membranous croup, and Dr. Johnson, of Harford and Dr. Fike, of Dundaff, were summoned, but in spite of all that medical aid could do, death claimed the little one. The father arrived just before the child died. The funeral was held from Jerry Bennett's just one week from the day they came. The sorrowing parents returned to their home in Texas the next day. AND: Glenn Morgan and Miss Lizzie Richards, of Union Hill, were married in Hancock, [N.Y.] July 6. They are among our prominent young people and have the best wishes of their many friends.

WELSH HILL, Clifford Twp.: D. J. Morgan and wife entertained the members of the South Gibson band at Lake Idyll Wilde cottage, last Saturday evening.

AUBURN TWP.: Frederick Fargo died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Q. Adams, Friday, July 24, 1903, after a long sickness, aged 73 years. The deceased was a veteran of the War of the Rebellion, being a member of Co. H., 142d Pa. Volunteers, and seriously wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville. After services at the house, the sermon being delivered by the Rev. Mr. Williams, the Lieutenant H. C. Titman Post, of Auburn, conducted the rites at the grave in Bunnell cemetery. Four members of his company were among the pall bearers – Judge D. W. Searle, J. C. Rifenbury, John Rollison and Filander Lott – the other bearers were D. C. Titman and D. D. Layton. Mrs. John Q. Adams is the only child surviving. E. M. Fargo, of Montrose, and Mrs. J. Bunnell, of Auburn, are his surviving brother and sister.

MONTROSE: There will be a ball game at Athletic Park, Monday, Aug. 3d. Printers and Barbers vs. Clerks. The line up is as follows: Printers and Barbers-Ed Thompson, c; Ennis Birch, p; Mort Smith, 1b; Will Cruser, 2b; Ray Cruser, ss; Carlton Griffis, 3b; Corella North, cf; George Daunie, lf; Stuart Watrous, rf. Substitutes: Will Aitken, Henry Whalen, George Mack. Clerks: Fred Connell, c; Fay Sprout, p; Lou Herrick, 1b; J. C. VanCampen, 2b; O. B. Tingley, ss; Bruce Titman, 3b; James Mahon, cf; John Youngs, lf; Chas. Sprout. Substitutes: Ed. Foote, Mott Fessenden, Gerrie Griffis. As this is to be one of the most exciting games of the season, everyone should attend. Adm. 10 cents to any place in the park.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Susquehanna Athletic Club entertained its lady friends with a social hop in Hogan's opera house, on Tuesday evening. Houlihan & King's orchestra furnished music for the occasion. AND: The small pox will cost Susquehanna about $1300.

LANESBORO: Small pox patients have all recovered and but six houses are now quarantined. The books of the Lanesboro Book Club have been fumigated.

HERRICK CENTRE: Marilla Gates, of Susquehanna, has been elected assistant principal of the Herrick high school.

OAKLAND: James Barnes, who conducted a shoe shop on Exchange St., in Susquehanna, on Friday night while in a somnambulistic state, walked out of the third story window of his house and fell into the yard, a distance of about 25 ft. He sustained injuries from which he died at four o'clock on Sunday morning. He is survived by the widow, two daughters and a son. The funeral took place from the house on Tuesday afternoon, Rev. W. F. Stowe, pastor of the Oakland Congregational church, officiating.

HOWARD HILL: Anyone seeing this who is the owner of a chain found around the neck of a yearling belonging to Isaac Travis, can have the same by calling at his home, proving property, and explaining how it came there.

NEWS BRIEF: According to figures that have been tabulated, the casualty list of the Fourth of July celebration is 52 killed and 3665 injured. This exceeds the worst battle that was fought in the war for independence. The powder that was burned would have blown the entire British and American armies into the Atlantic Ocean.

FRIENDSVILLE: Mrs. Catherine Purtell, an old and respected resident of Binghamton died July 25, 1903, at 3 o'clock. Mrs. Purtell was born in Friendsville 60 years ago and 40 years ago removed to that city with her husband, Michael Purtell. Mr. Purtell was killed in that city about 20 years ago, at the Jarvis street crossing. She is survived by four sons and three daughters.

Back to Top


WHY NOT A TRI-BORO Police Force? In talking to a few local residents, the subject came up about local police protection. I was asked why Susquehanna doesn’t have daytime protection? I answered, "I’m not aware of that, and if not, why not." Right after the above conversation, I read in a Scranton paper that the four boroughs of Old Forge, Moosic, Taylor and Duryea are considering combining their police departments. All of the mentioned boroughs are larger than our three boroughs. I know it has been mentioned before to combine Susquehanna, Oakland and Lanesboro police staffs. I do believe that we would have better police protection – day and night – if the three departments would combine. And, no doubt, the expense of maintaining one police force would be considerably cheaper, with better protection. (Do I hear a "yes" or "no" from our readers? You can call 853–3835 and register your answer, or drop me a line.)

AL 7, NL 6 – The American League may have won the All Star game, 7 to 6, and the right to home field advantage in the World Series, but I do believe that something went radically wrong in picking the MVP. True, Garrett Anderson kept the AL in the game with his two hits and a homer, but when it came down to their last six outs, behind 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Hank Blalock of the Texas Rangers, his first at bat ever in an All Star game, blasted one out of the park for a two-run homer and a AL lead of 7-6. The AL blanked the NL in the top of the ninth for the win. Oh yeah, Anderson may have kept the AL in the game, but Blalock provided the winning runs, and should have at least been named co-MVP. Would Anderson have been named MVP if the National League won the game? No way, I say.

JOHN GRAUSGRUBER in "Pro Am" – John Grausgruber, Jr., of Hallstead, formerly of Susquehanna, was one of the amateurs to participate in the Endicott BC Open Golf Tourney. On Monday, July 14, John, along with pro David Ogrin and amateurs John Schneider, Dave Culver and Tim Ripic, formed a foursome in the Pro-Am. They came in seventh, in a field of 14 teams, four strokes behind the winners (55) with a 59. John is the son of Joann (McCrae) Perry and the late John Grausgruber, Jr. (Note: John is a kin of our own Ernie Grausgruber, who also is quite adept at the golf game.)

THANK YOU, George – From one Yankee fan to another, as I was presented a beautiful black and white photo of the 1952 New York Yankees World Champions by George Wilcox. Thanks, again George. That was a great team, managed by Casey Stengel with such players as Mickey Mantle, Hank Bauer, Ed Lopat, Allie Reynolds, Charlie Keller, Ewell Blackwell, Johnny Sain, Gil McDougald, Vic Raschi, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Billy martin, Johnny Mize, Gene Woodling, (Coaches) Frank Crossetti, Bill Dickey, Charlie Silvera.

BARRY BONDS "The Greatest!" If you don’t believe this, ask the San Francisco Giant outfielder. He will definitely tell you he is. He is (according to him) greater than Babe Ruth ever was. In a recent news release, he claims, "As a left-handed batter, I have wiped him (Ruth) out." If Bonds played in the days of Ruth, the fans wouldn’t even know who he played for. Ruth amassed his records with a baseball that was nowhere as lively as today’s. He drew more people into the stands than Bonds will ever do, if he plays to be 100 years old. If Ruth played with today’s baseball, there is no telling how many home runs he would hit.

I can’t remember how many World Series Ruth played in – there were plenty. And as I recall, the lowly Anaheim Angels walloped the Giants in the World Series. Bonds, according to the news release, resents that the Babe was so popular, and that – he now – should be accorded that honor.

According to Mike Gibbons, director of the Babe Ruth museum, "Can Bonds wipe out Ruth? Not today, never in a million years." In all of my years of watching, reading, playing baseball, I have never heard of any athlete so egotistical, so obnoxious, so arrogant. Why did manager Dusty Baker leave the Giants after being in the World Series? Give you one guess. And why did Jeff Kent leave the Giants? Give you one more guess.

Watch the next Giant game. Betcha not many of his players congratulate him on a home run. I wouldn’t either.

WARS ARE Expensive – Not only are wars expensive, but considering the loss of lives, the cost is irrelevant. The military campaign has cost the US taxpayers about $48 billion so far, and is expected to cost another – at least – $10 billion, and more lives lost.

NEVER TOO OLD – That is if you stay in shape. Evidently, Ricky Henderson has stayed in shape. The 44-year old outfielder will be in his 25th year as a major leaguer, as he was "called up" from the Newark Bears by the LA Dodgers. In his 24 years as a big leaguer, he scored 2288 runs, stole 1403 bases, walked 2179 times and had 3049 hits, the most in the majors. While with the Bears, batted (56 games) .339, eight homers and 52 runs scored, nine stolen bases. Back eight games in their division, the Dodgers can use him.

REAL RICH For A Period – Several weeks ago, a New York State man won a $11 million jackpot. After all the red tape was untangled, he will win a total of $3.4 million. Not bad at all to take, even with the deductions.

SESQUICENTENNIAL Chorus "Very Entertaining" – I was not able to attend due to illness, but according to my grapevine, the chorus, directed by Lenny Kello, put on a fantastic performance on Sunday, July 12 in the high school auditorium. Accompanists were Brenda Potter and Carolyn Cleveland.

AGAIN, I REPEAT! The County Transcript is not a daily newspaper. We are a small newspaper, with a small staff. We do not have the "manpower or woman-power" to cover all of the functions in the county. We try to cover as many as we can. If your event is worth publicizing, we need your help. Just give us the details and a photo if you like, we will take care of the "writing." Many times we are greeted with, "I didn’t see you at the ceremony." My answer, "That’s right. I wasn’t invited, asked, or even aware of it."

MANY NEW VETERANS Eligible For VFW – Veterans of Foreign Wars reports that more veterans are becoming eligible for VFW membership. President Bush last year signed a law that makes members of the armed forces receiving special pay for duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger eligible for membership in the VFW.

Examples of US troops who would gain eligibility include but are not limited to those presently in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, United Arab Emirates, the Red Sea, and gulf of Aden and Oman, and of course, Iraq.

Back to Top

Straight From Starrucca

Last Saturday at the Baptist Church, twenty-three people registered, who could trace their heritage back to the early Sampson and Whitaker families that were pioneers in Starrucca. Gladys Birdsall Fiori, Endicott, NY is president and Alice Sampson, wife of Thomas Sampson is secretary-treasurer. After the business meeting, different ones spoke. Evelyn Sampson told some anecdotes; husband, Ray repeated family stories; Bill Young filled us in on the early Sampsons of Starrucca; Glen "Whit" Whitaker made remarks about his ancestors; and Linda Dix declared she traced her family back to Hezekiah Sampson. I got lost in all the intricacies of the families involved. After all, it takes quite a genealogist to trace Henry and Sarah Whitaker’s son, Benjamin and his twenty-six children by two wives.

Over a hundred reservations had been made for the Starrucca School reunion, July 26.

Wednesday, the 23rd, the Spirited Seniors and the quilters for the homeless met at the lovely home of June Downton. Twenty of us reclined on her commodious porch and enjoyed a typical picnic dinner. Pat Gulley, local is now assisting June.

Rev. Grove announced in church Sunday that they will be leaving his pastorate at the Baptist Church here, and has accepted a call to Bellwood Baptist Church near Altoona, PA. I wish them much happiness in their new endeavor to serve the Lord, even though they will be missed.

The next turkey buffet served by the Methodist Ladies will be August 7 at 5 p.m. Takeouts at 4:30.

There’s a scarcity of news this week, so I thought you’d enjoy the following:

A letter from a mountain mother to her son:

Your Pa has a new job now. The first one in 48 years. We are a little better off now, $17.95 every Thursday, so we thought we’d do a little fixing up. We went to Sears and Roebuck for one of them thar bath rooms you hear about in some family homes. It took a plumber to put it in shape. On one side of the room is a great, big, long something like the pigs drink out of, only you get in it and wash all over. Over on the other side is a little white thing called a sink. This is for light washing, like the face and hands. But over in the corner, now we really got us something thar. This darn thing you put one foot in, clean it and then you pull the chain and you get fresh water for the other foot. Two lids come with the darn thing. We ain’t had any use for them in the bathroom, so I’m using one for a bread board and we framed you grandpappy’s picture in the other lid. They are awful nice people to deal with. They even sent us a roll of writing paper with it.

Take care of yourself. Love, Paw and Maw.


Back to Top

Along the Way...With P. Jay


I have some great friends out there who usually feed me gossip they pick up here and there. For the most part, it is pretty accurate stuff and, please, do not stop. I have a new phone number that is easy to remember, 785-PJAY.

Unfortunately, last week I did get some information that may not all be true. Of course, I do not expect to be 100 percent accurate week in and week out. The last man that was perfect was crucified and I don’t think I would want that to happen to me.

Anyhow, as told to me, the split in the Democratic Party supposedly had Joey Franks in one end of the county pushing for Kathy Shelly and Joe Plonski at the other end of the county pushing for Mary Ann Warren. Well, my friends, that ain’t exactly the way it is. At least not according to Joe Plonski.

"From the beginning," Joe told me, "I have been with Mary Ann and Kathy and I am pushing for both of them 100 percent. I have no stake in this other than to elect two Democratic commissioners and I don’t want to see this team get sidetracked."

Well, there you have it folks.

Is there a split in the Democrat Party in Susquehanna County? About as wide as the Grand Canyon. But there is a concentrated effort on the part of many party faithful to make history and elect the team of Shelly and Warren.

Ah, those women!

If the men in the Democrat Party would take their cue from the women in the party, the split would be zippered up and who knows what could happen come November. That, my friends, is because the Democratic women don’t argue. They eat!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Democrat Women’s Club annual picnic in Hallstead and, believe me my diet went all to hell. Folks, the Republicans may have their shindigs all fancied up and catered, but when Democrats sit at a table, they get to enjoy some of America’s finest home cooking. All I can say, gals, is why did it take you so long to invite me?

Coming Soon…

It won’t be long before doe permits will be made available in Pennsylvania and there is one significant change going into effect this year. The permits will be issued in wildlife management units (WMU).

Our area is in WMU 3C which means that, while you still obtain your doe permit from the county treasurer’s office, your permit will allow you to hunt in any of the areas that are included in your wildlife management unit. WMU 3C covers all or portions of Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. Look in the book that comes with your hunting license for maps and boundaries on where in the five counties you can hunt.

WMU 3C will be given a total of 40,000 doe permits, including 15,600 that will be sold in Susquehanna County. Whatever you do, do not send for your doe permit before Aug. 4.

Little League Fields Look Great

Those two Little League baseball fields on Post Pond Road in Bridgewater Twp. look great, thanks to some fine teamwork on the part of the Susquehanna County Probation Department, inmates and guards from the county jail, some conscientious volunteers, and, of course, a federal grant secured for the project by the Montrose School District. Both fields have been completely refurbished.

Sami Bourizk, a juvenile probation officer, took the bull by the horns and guided the project to what will soon be a successful conclusion.

"We pumped $25,000 into the local economy by buying everything here in the Montrose area," Bourizk said. "We hope to get the project completed around August 9 or 10."

Besides landscaping the fields, the work crews did lots of painting, spread 500 tons of stone in the improved parking lot, put cabinets in the concession stands, new gas grilles, and obtained some advertising signs for the outfield fences. By the way, the fields are used by 21 teams that play in the B&M Little League. And, I am sure I forgot to mention something that was done but I will send a great big thank you for a job well done to everyone who participated in the project.

Back to Top

News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe