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Issue Home August 12, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

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

Slices of Life

Summer Frustrations

Ah, it was an early rising this morning as Mrs. Morris would not be placated. No, she did not want to jump up on the bed with me. That is for cold, wintry mornings. No, she wasn’t about to go downstairs and snack on dry food. She wanted me up and serving her breakfast long before the alarm rang. That was all right, though, because my pre-dawn slumber has been marred by jumbled, fretful dreams these past few weeks; one piling on top of another with none making much sense. This is disconcerting because, normally, I’m not a dreamer.

As Mrs. Morris was lapping up her prime beef in gravy at 6:00 a.m., I’m standing there thinking about what a good friend she is and how much I’ll miss her when she’s not around anymore. She provides much entertainment.

I smiled as I watched the stand-off in the driveway when she took a saunter outdoors after breakfast. I had seen the rabbit before I let her out. A good-sized adolescent, I’d say, it was commandeering the lower end of the driveway where it had appeared from the stand of bamboo. That bamboo was Mrs. Morris’s destination because she and the other neighborhood cats have claimed that area, and any space in the garden I have freshly turned over, as their bathroom facilities. As she started that direction, she suddenly spotted the rabbit and froze where she was. The rabbit also was not giving an inch. So there they both sat, doing their best to psych out one another. The rabbit won. Mrs. Morris wandered up the driveway towards the front of the house and soon after the rabbit hopped back into the safety of the bamboo patch.

At this point of summer, Morris and I could both be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Every time I’ve dug up the garden and planted seeds, the cats have converged on that freshly turned soil and had a great time building mounds there. What Mrs. Morris didn’t realize was that she was hurting her own cause as she dug up the newly planted catnip seeds. I don’t suppose she cared one way or another about the sweet basil.

Yesterday she and I went to check on the progress of our three caged tomato plants; the only things that amount to much in the garden. The deer had eaten the tops, all the blossoms and all the green tomatoes except one. They also ate the new growth on the raspberries and the blueberries and most of the phlox. I can’t believe that the geraniums are still intact. I now have to decide whether I’m going to fence everything from now on, or just give up and let the animals have the back yard. Summer brings so many decisions. In many ways winter is much easier.

I was delighted yesterday to pick up a magazine at the garage while I was waiting for my car to be inspected, and find an article by 20th century poet and writer, H.W. Auden, where he was extolling the virtues of winter. I’m with him. In winter Mrs. Morris and I just hunker down in our warm house to eat and nap. Not all these decisions to be made and disappointments to be overcome when things don’t turn out as we expected. Those pesky wild animals can’t do nearly as much damage then because there’s not so much to destroy. That makes me happy. Morris is happy because those other cats tend to stay closer to their own homes. And life is good.

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100 Years Ago

CLIFFORD: The descendants of Capt. Jonathan Burns will hold their 4th annual reunion at the old Captain Burns' homestead in Clifford, Tuesday, Aug. 28. The old original house, built in 1812, is still standing and if thought advisable this old landmark will hereafter be used as the meeting place from year to year. Let every relative come and bring their lunch basket.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: Mrs. Huldah Hinds Burrows, with two of her sons, James and Howard Burrows and their wives, of Picture Rocks, Lycoming Co., Pa., are making a two week visit with their friends and relatives in Montrose, Fairhill, Lawton, Rushville, Bridgewater and Franklin Twp. Mrs. Burrows is a daughter of Deacon Conrad Hinds who was one of the early settlers of Montrose. He spent a number of years on a farm about 1 1/2 miles west of Montrose. Mr. Hinds, who died Oct. 26, 1860, was a deacon in the Baptist church of that place and a strong advocate of right principles. Her husband, Asa, was a son of Amos Burrows, who in 1848, with his family, moved from a farm, known as the Avery Frink farm, about one mile from Montrose, to Picture Rocks, where he was engaged in the manufacture of furniture. Asa died July 1, 1903. The family has enjoyed the long rides over the splendid road and have succeeded in landing some fine fish from Wyalusing creek and other streams.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Starrucca House has discontinued business, after having been conducted for about half a century. Martin J. Ryan, proprietor of the Starrucca House, has purchased the Canawacta House and will take possession Saturday next. The Starrucca House will be closed, but the Erie will maintain a lunch room; the building will be used for railroad purposes. AND: Work on Drs. Goodwin and Washburn's Willow Street Hospital has begun and it will be open in October.

OAKLAND: A. W. Cook, of Oakland, desires to furnish Susquehanna with artificial gas for lights, heating and power purposes, for a period of three years. The Common Council will consider the matter.

DIMOCK: A lawn social will be held at the residence of C. H. Newton, Thursday eve, Aug. 20th, under the auspices of the Dimock Literary Society. If stormy it will be held the following evening. Excellent music will be furnished and the proceeds will go towards the purchase of new books for the library.

HARFORD: The Harford Salvation Army gave a street parade last Monday night and if the weather permits will give an open-air concert in the band pagoda, Monday evening.

SILVER LAKE: The funeral of Mrs. Michael Reardon was largely attended from St. Augustine's church, Sunday; 78 carriages were in the funeral procession. Mrs. R. was 73 years old and is survived by five sons and six daughters.

WEST AUBURN: Wednesday morning, after the heavy fall of rain, Asa Hitchcock, on entering the Swisher quarry for a load of stones, met with a mishap. The embankment gave way and team and wagon fell a distance of 20 ft., dislocating things in general. Byron Angell, trying to hold one of the mules, the snap caught his fingers and lacerating them so it was necessary to have Dr. Beaumont dress them. Harry Younker and John Devine each received a kick. That mule certainly was impolite.

LAWTON: The Lawton Farmers' Club are making extensive plans for their Fair to be held at Lawton, Sept. 9-10. Remember that this is to be an important event in our midst, and it is urged that a very large exhibit be made this year. Farmers, we can make this fair a grand success. Let us be up and doing!

UNIONDALE: The School Directors have secured the services of a Mr. Dexter, of Damascus, Pa., as principal of our schools.

FRIENDSVILLE: Patrick Matthews, the veteran wagon builder, was in Montrose Monday and put a notice in the Democrat as to his wagons. Call and see him, if you want a wagon you can rely on.

FOREST CITY: Miss Letitia E. Brown and her father, John C. Brown, began a suit against the Scranton Railway company to collect $20,000 damages. Mr. Brown is engaged in the furniture business in Forest city and in May, 1902, his daughter got on one of the company's cars at her home to ride to Carbondale and the car collided with a train at a crossing and the passengers were thrown about and several of them injured, among them Miss Brown, who sustained an injury to the knee that was painful and permanent.

SPRINGVILLE: A number from this place attended the [Anna May] Stark and [Ernest] West wedding at R. Squire's on Wednesday last. The contracting parties were recipients of many useful and valuable presents. They left amid a shower of rice. They passed through Springville with quite a stock of shoes strung underneath their carriage for which it is hoped that none of the guests would have to go home in stocking feet.

GREAT BEND: The driving association are busy preparing the race track and building stalls. They will also prepare seats for 1000 people. The dates are August 10, 21, 22.

JACKSON: A. B. Larrabee is in poor health. Sunday, last, he was 86 years of age and is one of Jackson's oldest residents, having removed from Vermont with his parents in 1832 and has since resided in the township. AND: Wm. Birdsall will dispose of his farm and remove to New Milford, where he has purchased the Moss property.

SOUTH GIBSON: On a recent evening, the members of Morgan's South Gibson cornet band, with their families and friends, met at the home of their leader, David Morgan, by special invitation of Mr. Morgan. The band played a number of choice selections after which they were treated to ice cream, cake and lemonade.

MONTROSE: There will be a piano recital given at Presbyterian church, Tuesday evening, Aug. 25th. The performer will be Franklin Sonnakolb, of New York City, one of the leading concert players of the country. This will be a rare musical treat for Montrose and all lovers of music should avail themselves of this opportunity of hearing the great artist.

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PARADE JUDGES – We were asked, why the County Transcript did not carry the names of the parade judges. No doubt it was just an oversight. The parade, on July 19, climaxed one of the greatest weeks in the community. The parade, deemed one of the largest ever put together in Susquehanna, was enjoyed by thousands of people, from the high school field to the Shops Plaza. It was a "real tough job" for the judges, due to the many beautiful floats, cars, wagons, and others too numerous to mention. But the judges prevailed and – as mentioned in an earlier edition of the County Transcript – best prizes were handed out. The judges: Charles (Chuck) Glidden, Nancy Culnane, Ron Dubas, Darlene Slocum, Peter Janicelli, Charles (Chuck) Ficarro and Lou Parrillo.

How can we not praise the Sesquicentennial Committee for an outstanding job, not only during the ‘Centennial week, but for the past several years that took a lot of their time. Week after week they met to discuss "this and that." Many times it was hard to decide. But their dedication paid off and this "centennial will be talked about for years to come."

The "centennial staff" – Mary Jo Glover and Pam Hennessey, co-chairmen; Sharon Glover, treasurer/recording secretary; Lenore Keyes, historian; Alice Evans, activities; Tonya Romanofski, activities; Todd Glover, council representative; aided by Steve Glover, Karyn Armitage, Richard Hennessey, sub-committee; Mike Ryder, Randy Glover, Sigrid Reddon, special committee; Lou Parrillo and Mary Ficarro, advertising.

The committee would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all the people that, in any way or matter helped with the Centennial. "We could not have done it without you."

"VETS" Turnout Poor – The annual party to solicit clothes, etc. for the handicapped vets at the Wilkes-Barre Medical Center on Saturday, July 26 was poorly attended. Why? Who knows. The party was well advertised with posters and in the County Transcript. Must be a lot of our own able veterans either forgot about it, or decided just not to come. Either way, it was a slap in the face for the promoters of the affair. Each year they hold this function to bring a "load of clothes, etc., to the disabled vets." But not this year. Yes, they did receive cash and clothes, but the turnout was "very poor." The food was great, the music was great and again "the attendance was poor." (The Legion thanks those that did attend and bring gifts.)

Pictured are Stan Lindow (left) and Tom Hurley.

Photo by Tony Yannone.

During the evening, a plaque was presented to Post 86 Chaplain, Stanley Lindow, who has served the post as chaplain for the past fifteen years. Presenting the plaque was Post 86 Trustee, Thomas Hurley. The plaque reads:

"Post 86 Appreciation Award is presented to Mr. Stanley Lindow for his dedication and continued support of "Help A Veteran Day." Presented by Post 86 on July 26, 2003."

DAVE TAYLOR "A Cub Fan" – Dave Taylor of Thompson, one of the community’s – along with his family – most dedicated sports fans, can be seen at most sports functions, vocally urging the team on. All the while, I thought that Dave was a Yankee fan. No way! He is a fan of one of the oldest teams in the majors, the Chicago Cubs. I believe the last time the Cubs were in a World Series was in 1945. Anyway, the Cubs are doing real well this year, and no doubt Dave is wishing for a Yankee-Cubs World Series. I’m with you, Dave. I hope so, too. If not the Cubs, I would like to see the St. Louie Cardinals play the Yankees. (We will have to wait and see.)

EMIL BEST Dead – Emil Best, age 90, of Bainbridge, NY died July 23. He was a teacher in the Bainbridge High School for 39 years. He taught physical education, was a guidance counselor and coached sports. During the Sun-Susquehanna Valley Baseball League – of which Susquehanna was a member – Emil was the coach for the Bainbridge Town team.

NECKTIES – A Hazard! Go ahead, loosen that tie. You could be saving your vision.

A study published in The British Journal of Ophthalmology found that wearing a tightly tied necktie had a significant effect on blood pressure within the eye, which it called the most important known risk factor for the development of glaucoma, a disease in which the optic nerve is progressively damaged.

Speculating that the tie might raise blood pressure by constricting the jugular vein, the researchers concluded that wearing a tight tie should be considered a risk factor for glaucoma.

NEW HALL OF FAMER’S – Sunday, July 27, 2003, Gary Carter, Eddie Murray and Bob Eucker were inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Carter was a catcher, Murray an infielder and Eucker, a catcher-baseball announcer, getting his "star" mostly as an announcer. Eucker’s sharp wit helped him as an announcer and ball player. Some of his remarks at the Hall of Fame induction:

"When I was with the Phillies, they told me to go to bat without a bat and get a walk... A lot of Hall of Famers were my teammates, they just won’t admit it... When the Braves management saw me in the clubhouse, he said ‘No visitors allowed,’ I knew it was time to leave... One manager wanted to make me a coach, a second baseman coach... One time the Braves wanted to sign me, but my dad couldn’t come up with the $30,000... I’m the only player under .200 hitter in the Hall. I should be in there as a player, for I set a record for the most passed balls, I didn’t even play in all the games. They have my plaque near other great catchers, Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench and now Carter. Not real NEAR, but far enough to see."

"YES" or "NO" – I just can’t believe the lack of interest in our police departments of Susquehanna, Oakland and Lanesboro. Evidently the people are satisfied with the present arrangement, or they just couldn’t care less about getting more protection. How often have I heard the phrase, "Where are the police when we need them?" They are around, maybe not 24 hours a day, as we would like, due to budgets of the respective boroughs. But it is believed that by merging the three departments, it would cost less and we (I believe) would get added protection.

WATCH A "NO-HITTER" – Mets fans Joe Canini and Bob VanFleet, on Saturday, August 2, at the Mets stadium in Binghamton watched Mets pitcher Bob Keppel pitch a no-hit, no-run game against the Portland team. Keppel faced only 30 batters, walking two and hitting one. No doubt our local police officers were thrilled to witness such a feat. Being a superb shortstop with the Windsor Town team for years, VanFleet has a good idea what it takes to pitch a no-hitter, and seeing one, with super-fan Joe Canini, was an added thrill.

A YOUNG COUPLE was driving down a moonlit country road when the car engine coughed, and the car came to a halt. "That’s funny," the boy said, "I wonder what that knocking was."

"Well, I can tell you one thing for sure," the girl responded coolly. "It wasn’t opportunity."

"HOW DOES that phone cord get so tangled? All I do is talk and hang up. I don’t pick it up and do a cartwheel and a somersault."

THE BOSS joined a group of coworkers at the water cooler and told a series of jokes he’d heard recently. Everybody laughed – everybody, that is, except John.

When the boss noticed he was getting no reaction from John, he asked, "What’s the matter, John? No sense of humor?"

"I don’t have to laugh," he replied. "I’m quitting tomorrow."

IT’S A DISGRACE – What some of our local people are doing – be it men or boys – in front of the community’s Service Board. On Thursday morning, walking around the plaza, I noticed a large amount of garbage, bottles, bags, etc. Not only that, but the white chain in front of the Service Board was ripped down, and the posts holding the chain pulled out of the ground.

Two of our respected citizens have volunteered to keep the area looking great, but cannot keep up with the people that are vandalizing and "just couldn’t care less about it."

Something must be done about it. If that keeps up, it has been suggested that "No Loitering" and "Vandals Will Be Prosecuted" signs be erected.

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Straight From Starrucca

It was a beautiful day when forty of our people gathered at the home of Doris Davidson for the annual family picnic. Coming the farthest were Lillian and Allen Denny and two grandsons, Jason and Aaron, from League City, Texas. The youngest one was Gavin Crawford and the oldest one, the hostess of the affair, Doris Davidson.

Brian Kelly was home from Nasiriyah and there was great rejoicing over his return.

Barb and Roger Glover, accompanied by Marilyn and Dave Czapnik have returned home from a two-week’s vacation that took them up the New England coast as far as Moosehead Lake in Maine. They reported great views and good food.

Bob and Dee Martin have flown to California to attend a wedding.

Attending the Lakewood School reunion from here were Joy Mead, Denny and Florence Downton and their two guests, and Marie Swartz.

Last Saturday, my son Dan and I attended the Smith reunion held at a hunting club near Jubilee Corners, Madison Township, Lackawanna County, PA.

The bear was back and dumped over the burn barrel, but I didn’t happen to see him.

By the time you read this, the Baptist minister, Rev. Grove, has preached his last sermon here. Monday night, August 11, they had a farewell party for he and Mrs. Grove. Good wishes go with them to Bellwood, PA and his new pastorate.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Republicans Party on the Burman Farm

For many, many years Republicans have been known as the "GOP." And party faithful thought it meant the "Grand Old Party." However, there are some who now say the original meaning back in 1875 was "Gallant Old Party."

In Susquehanna County, it is becoming known as the "Great Old Place" referring, of course, to the Burman Century Farm, the oldest farm in the county and, last Thursday night, the most charming and cheeriest farm in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was the Get Lost in the 50’s & 60’s Night, the fifth annual shindig at the Burman farm in honor of Congressman Don Sherwood and a host of area Republican officeholders.

"Beyond my wildest expectations," was the way Ivan Burman, chairman of the Republican County Committee, described the evening. The count is not official, but it is believed close to 500 people were in attendance.

While it was a political bash, it was also a night of fun and frolic. When the politicking was done, the air was filled with golden oldies played and sung by The Poets, a field of vintage automobiles offered mute testimony to the good old days, and the costumes many guests wore were reminiscent of the rock and roll era.

The guest list read like a Who’s Who in Local Republican Politics. And elected officials from all over the country attended including Senator Arlen Specter and Ohio Congressman John Boehner. There were also candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Superior Court, Attorney General, and a visit from Alan Novak, chairman of the Pennsylvania State Committee.

Local political talent included State Senators Charles Lemmond and Roger Madigan; State Representatives Sandra Major and Tina Pickett; and, naturally, most elected county and municipal office holders who subscribe to the preaching of the Republican Party.

It was without any doubt, a Republican night, but it did not stop a couple of Democrat hopefuls from attending and enjoying the festivities. Mary Ann Warren and Kathy Shelly, who are trying to break a 100-year Republican control of county government, were the strangers in paradise. And, Jeffrey Loomis and Roberta Kelly, who hope to carry the GOP banner to victory in the commissioners’ race, were also on hand.

While it was another fund raiser for Don Sherwood, it was also a night for someone else to steal the show. It happened to be on the same day as Reed Burman was celebrating his 87th birthday. He was presented with a beautifully decorated birthday cake.

My friends, this man is unbelievable. He is the oldest surviving member of the Burman family and he bops around like a man in his 50’s.

For years, Reed, who is Ivan Burman’s father, has been producing maple syrup. His dedication to the trade continues today as he travels up and down the East Coast offering the latest equipment to maple syrup producers. When he isn’t on the road traveling, he can be seen cutting hay on the Burman Century Farm in Ararat Twp. Incidentally, the farm has been in the Burman family since 1867.

"He is a tough old bird," Ivan Burman said affectionately about his dad. "He has lived on the farm all of his life."

But you cannot keep him down on the farm. The day after the big party, Reed Burman was enroute to Vermont with syrup-production equipment. Anyone who visited Forest City’s Old Home Days may have also chatted with Reed at his syrup stand.

There will be no move to change the Susquehanna County Republican Party Bylaws and allow Ivan Burman a third term as county chairman. Ivan himself has made sure of that.

"It will not and cannot happen," Ivan said. "It is time for fresh faces and new ideas. We made a lot of sacrifices but it was also a nice ride." When Ivan Burman steps down as chairman of the Susquehanna County Republican party next spring, he is going to leave a mighty big pair of shoes to fill. The feeling here is that he has done more for the Republican Party in Susquehanna County during his tenure as party leader than any of his predecessors.

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Food For Thought

Many of us suffer from high cholesterol levels. Even with diet and exercise some of us have difficulty bringing our cholesterol levels down to acceptable levels. This puts us at risk for heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems. Cholesterol lowering drugs, called statins, are then prescribed to aid in lowering cholesterol levels. These have limited success, at a very high cost. Many of them cost over $100.00 per month for a prescription. And they have severe side effects and complications. At best they will only bring the cholesterol level down 10% to 20%.

The statin drugs do not differentiate between the good cholesterol, HDL’s, and the bad cholesterol, LDL’s. Statins just lower all cholesterols.

There are some natural alternatives to statin drugs though. Policosanols are natural cholesterol lowering substances from sugar cane, which lower the bad cholesterol while raising the good cholesterol. Policosanols also do not have harmful side effects, like harming liver function, causing muscle cramps, or muscle atrophy, as the statin drugs do. And the policosanol acts as an antioxidant as well, which further decreases the harmful effects of the bad cholesterol.

Policosanol is derived from sugar cane, but it is not a sugar. It will not raise blood sugar levels or effect insulin either. So it is safe for diabetics, who frequently have cholesterol problems as well as sugar metabolism problems.

Policosanol is a very cost effective alternative to statin drugs. A two month supply should cost less than $20.00. Not too hard to swallow.

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