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All Kinds Of Presents
Breakfast at my house is monotonously the same; oatmeal cooked in the microwave with additives such as flaxseed, wheat germ and dried fruit of convenience. That latter would usually be raisins or dates, but other Harry and David varieties if my son-in-law has been near one of their stores. However, this morning was different. I had been nurturing the perfect peach, and had tested its readiness last night before I went to bed. I pressed it ever so gently and it gave just enough that I knew it would be at its peak this morning. After enjoying its succulent aroma, I sliced it on my shredded wheat, added the rice milk, and had breakfast fit for a queen.
That peach brought back a flood of memories. My husband and I were vacationing with our grandchildren who were then probably ten and twelve. Our destination was Smethport, where wed grown up and relatives still lived. We took a slow car trip, stopping often to head off bored bickering and to show the kids, who had always lived in the west, our area of the country. We also ate a lot as they had voracious appetites and any mention of restaurants was hailed with enthusiasm.
We had spent the night in Wellsboro at a motel where there was a pool and a nearby Pizza Hut. Our body rhythms said that bedtime was two hours earlier than bedtime for the children. We were probably asleep long before they settled. When we woke on our timetable the next morning, the kids were a scramble of arms and legs on their blankets on the floor. Great sleepers once they went to sleep, they would not be wakened easily. So we went about our morning routines.
You know that Im good at sitting, and probably had a book along for any situation like this. My husband was a doer. So he went off to explore. He returned with two cups of coffee and a small brown paper bag. I was thinking donuts. Out came two of the most beautiful peaches Ive ever seen. Big, beautifully colored, tempting aroma. He said, "I brought you a present." ( How many times I heard that through the years!)
We sat on the requisite chairs outside our motel unit, juice dripping off our chins and, probably our elbows, as we ate those marvelous peaches. I never see a peach but what I think of that morning, that trip, that time of our lives.
He was a great bearer of gifts, and they were never the ordinary. Another time he surprised the grandchildren with huge, wild blackberries hed gone to gather for their morning cereal. Hed find things here and there that hed think they would enjoy.
I never knew what would be offered to me throughout the day. While he was constantly off doing in his retirement years, he was always on the lookout for what would make me happy. A bouquet of red bee balm (which I love), or wild roses from along the road, a container of perfect wild raspberries, a sack of crabapples. His truck always held bags that he could fill with surprises. His first ripe tomato would always be presented as a gift.
Yard sales and flea markets offered up their own variety of gifts to share. One of his last gifts, which is now one of my greatest treasures, came from Jimays Flea Market. Its a plastic frog sitting on a plastic lily pad and it says, "Have I toad you lately that I love you."
Well-meaning people often ask me, "Why dont you get married again?" I take no offense, but thats not an easily answered question. I can only say that those who knew my husband also know that he would be a hard act to follow.
Subject: 100 Years
CLIFFORD: Australia does not provide for her boys so many fascinating "Log Cabin to White House" stories of industry and success as the United States of America did when that great country was making its early history; but the political success of the Hon. John Greeley Jenkins Premier of South Australia, bears a marked resemblance to the examples which were set American boys by some of the Presidents. Little did Mr. Jenkins dream when with his three elder brothers he roamed the woods of Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania, that he would become Prime Minister of a large and important British State in the Southern Seas and that he would live to establish a record for the State in the length of his term of Ministerial office. Few men who have been only 25 years in any of the States can boast of having spent more than 20 of them in the service of the public in this manner. He landed in Adelaide in April 1878, unknown to anyone. Today he has the reputation of knowing more men and women in South Australia than any other man. His position as Premier has brought him before all sections of the community and he has been able to adapt himself to his surroundings with a facility possessed by few. [John G. Jenkins left Clifford at the age of 16. He was the brother of Sheriff Z. D. Jenkins. J. G. died Feb. 22, 1923 in London, England.]
HARMONY TWP.: Mrs. E. C. Webb, of Scranton, is visiting at the home of her granddaughter, the Misses Alice and Gertrude Buckley in Harmony Twp. Mrs. Webb, who is 80 years old, while taking a leisurely walk over the fields on the farm of her son-in-law, Jas. Buckley, on Aug. 17th, killed a rattle snake 3 feet long, and 8 rattles, with a stone. Mrs. Webb, relict of the late R.A. Webb, for many years resided on the large farm near Lanesboro, now occupied by L. R. Barnes and James Buckley. In 1844 Mr. Webb and family removed from Oneida county, N.Y. into the deep woods in Harmony township. He bought of the Drinkers a 240 acre tract, on which was a 10 acre clearing with a small log house. In less than 20 years he cleared 200 acres, putting it into a high state of cultivation with good fences and substantial buildings. Mr. Webb was an earnest advocate of good schools and good roads. Fifty years ago, by his personal efforts, he left both institutions to this community. As early as 1852 he built, largely at his own expense, a nice school house that is doing good service and in 1858 he built, with limited town aid, three miles of the best public road ever built in the county. Richard A. Webb died in 1871, after a long illness.
MONTROSE: The Montrose High school opens September 1, with Prof. Ernest W. Sipple, of Downington, Pa., as principal. The outlook for the coming year is very bright and with the thoroughly competent corp[s] of instructors, fine building and surroundings, latest and most approved books, together with a well supplied laboratory to aid in the pursuit of various studies, it seems almost impossible that other than satisfactory results could be obtained. The new principal, elected by the board Friday evening, comes here most highly recommended and his past experience evidently justifies his selection. Mr. Sipple is a tall, athletic and fine appearing gentleman, aged about 28 and is unmarried.
SUSQUEHANNA: William Hannon, aged 15, was electrocuted in this place on Sunday evening. While standing at the Erie telegraph office building he rested his hand on a gutter pipe, which extends down at the corner of the building. He struggled for a moment to free his hand, but he was soon motionless and death was almost instantaneous. The zinc pipe had been charged with electricity from an electric light wire at the top of the building. The funeral took place from St. John's Catholic church on Wednesday morning and interment took place in Laurel Hill cemetery. AND: The Erie has reconsidered the plan to run passenger locomotives through from Jersey City to Susquehanna, without changing at Port Jervis. AND: On September 1, Joseph Ryan & Co. will open a clothing store in Mrs. R. Kane's building.
SPRINGVILLE: Last Friday our ball team went down to West Nicholson to play with the team there; not only the team but a lot of rooters went too. As there is no connection with that place, we had to be content to wait until some one came back to give results; the team and its friends felt so good over the victory that a noisy demonstration was excusable. Ross Avery had a megaphone and made the largest noise-although even the young ladies tried hard to drown his din. The score stood 8 to 3. It is expected the next game will be played here.
NEW MILFORD: On Friday evening of last week about 20 of the friends of K. Macauley, for the past 8 years general superintendent of the tannery here, gave him a farewell reception at the Jay House, the gentleman having resigned to return to his home in Woburn, Mass. They presented him with a beautiful gold-headed cane, suitably inscribed and enjoyed a delightful supper served by Landlord Carpenter. Thomas Taylor, of Malone, is the new superintendent at the tannery.
LANESBORO: The small-pox epidemic came near bankrupting Lanesboro. Atty. W. A. Skinner secured a grant of the court here enabling the authorities of the town to levy a ten-mill tax for three years to meet the indebtedness.
NORTH JACKSON: Fifteen out of a flock of twenty-five sheep and lambs belonging to Mr. Will Killea were killed by dogs. Those appointed to appraise the loss fixed the sum at $61.00, which sum will be paid by the township from the dog fund. When will a law prevail abolishing the horde of wolfish and worthless curs that abound in almost every locality! Speed the time.
FLYNN [Middletown Twp.]: S. J. Gillen and Owen McDonough attended the Barnum and Bailey circus at Binghamton. Some [more] of our people went down to Binghamton to see the big elephants August 7. AND: Charles Hoag, our traveling grocery man, says fresh eggs are liable to come up.
HARFORD: They are catching nice strings of bass and pickerel at Tyler Lake now, while others catch large turtles.
KINGSLEY: A. H. Tiffany and mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Tiffany, extend sincere thanks to the Odd Fellows and neighbors who so kindly volunteered to finish their haying.
FRANKLIN FORKS: Harry Vance's little girl found a can with some kerosene in it and drank some of it on Saturday. It caused her to bloat and suffer great pain. Dr. Caterson was called and the child is still improving.
LEGION "Promoting Letters" The national commander of the American Legion is calling on all members and families of veterans to contact their representatives in Washington to protest the proposed cut of $1.8 billion from VAs health care funding for Americas 25 million veterans.
The House Appropriations Committee July 25 lopped the $1.8 billion from the 2004 appropriations bill after agreeing to include it earlier. Commander Ronald F. Conley says if the $1.8 billion is not restored, members of the House should vote to defeat the bill and send it back to the committee.
The appropriations bill is VA-HUD FY04.
Mr. Conley, whose veteran organization is the nations largest with 2.8 million members, was stunned by the funding cut. Less than two weeks earlier he appeared before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to protest the lack of timely access to health care for veterans. He blamed that on insufficient funding.
POST 86 Installs Sons of Legion On Sunday, August 3, 2003, squadron 86 of the Susquehanna American Legion, Post 86 officers were installed. The installing team was Marvin Blachman, Adjutant, Central Section and Don Horvatt, 15th District Commander.
The new officers are: Squadron Commander, Matt Frailey; Second Vice Commander, James Sellitto; Adjutant, Brinton Cresse; Sgt. at Arms, Artie Trynoski; Chaplain, Clifton Branning; Finance Officer, William Deakin.
(NOTE: Officers not sworn in at this meeting will be sworn in at the next regular meeting of Squadron 86, September 7.)
CONTINENTALS "Just Great" On Saturday evening, August 9, 2003, the Continentals, on a return engagement through the kindness of Rev. Carl Batzel of the Lanesboro Church, not only preached "the Word of God" through a multi-talented group of young men and women, their performance was a treat to "watch and hear." They have added many new "acts," such as "dancing" in a group while singing the praises of God. (It must have been Gods wish to have the Continentals perform. It rained most of the day. Prior to the concert, it was a bit overcast, but the rain held off much to the satisfaction of a large number of people.)
DAN ONEILL Honored Dan ONeill of Honesdale, formerly of Susquehanna and Pleasant Mount, along with 24 other persons was honored for his contributions to helping the youth of the Honesdale area. Mr. ONeill, a former teacher in the Susquehanna Community School served as principal and superintendent of the Wayne Highlands School District during the past 30 years. Mr. ONeill (as many local bowlers will recall) along with two other partners, built the Riverside Bowling Lanes in the early 1960s. He and his wife have four children, Kelly, Erin, Sandra and Michael.
SUSQUEHANNA "Is Protected" In response to our article, in regard to merging the police of the Three Boroughs, we were informed by the mayors office that "we do have police protection during the day." (Only one person called saying they were in favor of the police merger. Oh, well, someday, we may see the merger. So until then, each Borough will be doing "their own thing.")
COMMUNITY "Looking Great" The new sidewalks, from Broad Avenue down to and up Erie Avenue, (a bit) up Main Street, down Exchange Street and up East main Street above the Methodist Church, along with "planted trees" is giving Susquehanna "a look" that we can be proud of. It wont be long before the job is finished, giving Susquehanna a tremendous boost, with the forming of the Susquehanna Community Development Association that plans on enhancing the looks of the communitys business places, etc.
A TEXAN, a Russian and a New Yorker went to a restaurant in London, and the waiter said, "Excuse me, but if you order the steak you might not get one, as there is a shortage." The Texan asked, "Whats a shortage?" The Russian asked, "Whats a steak?" The New Yorker asked, "Whats excuse me?"
A GOVERNMENT is the only known vessel that leaks from the top.
PARTING SHOTS: They say 70 percent of major accidents occur in the home. The rest occur in voting booths.
WHATS THE Definition of perfect pitch? Throwing a ukulele into a trash bin without it touching the sides.
THE POOR FILM editor for the fishing shows. This guy has to watch all the footage that just wasnt exciting enough to make it into the final product.
Pal Joey at it again
Dont look now folks but Joey Franks is at it again. However, this time, Joey may have stuck his foot in his mouth a little too far.
In case you dont know it, Joey is ch, cha shucks, its even difficult to write- chai, chair, ah phooey, head of the Susquehanna County Democratic Committee. I get the feeling his latest effort at playing boss will be bounced off some walls in Harrisburg.
Joey gets ticked off whenever something appears in this column that is critical of him or the Democratic Party in general. I am not completely sure what I said about Joey in recent weeks but rest assured it wasnt complimentary. I guess it made Joey a mighty unhappy kid and so he has decided enough is enough.
As told to me by several sources, Joey has put a press gag on all members of the Democratic County Committee. Moreover, he has threatened to have any committee member who is caught in the act of talking to this writer or any other member of the news media thrown out of the Democratic Party. Wow! Thats heavy stuff, isnt it?
Makes me wonder what Joey will do for an encore when this idea fails. I guess he could hire a bounty hunter.
Back to the core of Joeys latest venture. My friends I have been involved in politics as a writer and office holder for almost 50 years. In all that time, I have never seen such a brazen attitude from a county political party chairman. And believe me, you have not seen the game of politics played unless you were involved in New Jersey politics 40 or 50 years ago.
And now along comes Joey "Hot Dog Kid" Franks and he is threatening to throw Democrats out of the Democratic Party! There are provisions in the State Democratic Bylaws for ejecting members of a county committee. But talking to members of the Fourth Estate is not one of them. Perhaps it would be wise for all county committee people to find out what is just cause for expulsion. One excuse for getting bounced can occur if a county committee person endorses and/or supports a Republican candidate against a Democratic candidate who is seeking the same elective office.
This is the same Joey Franks who inaugurated the practice of dipping into the partys coffers to pay for hotel rooms four times a year for officers of the Democratic County Committee who attend quarterly State Democratic Committee meetings. Joey will tell you the committee voted to do this, but he will not tell you that, as a result of it, the party could only pump $500 into the campaign fund of Democratic commissioner candidates Mary Ann Warren and Kathy Shelly. Prior to Joey Franks, any officers of the Democratic County Committee paid for their own lodging if they wanted to attend a state committee meeting.
The Democratic Party in Susquehanna County has always been short in two areas, money and voters. Some Democrats are working very hard to do something about these shortcomings. Joey Franks apparently is not one of them.
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Sewer Authority liens
The Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority has filed municipal claim/liens against a few Forest City Area residents who have not paid their sewer bills in quite some time.
Papers filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County indicate the liens were filed against the following: Walter and Joan Davis, 706 Hudson St., Forest City, $415.80; Paul and Mary Ferraro, $431.93, for property located at 424 Main St., Forest City; Phillip and Donna Hodges, $345.60, for property at 1025 Main Street, and $691.20, for property located at 740-742 Delaware St., both Forest City; Carlos and Cynthia Mendoza, 360 Lackawanna St., $1,227.60; Michael F. and Alberta L. Quick, 305 S. Main St., $439.78; and, Richard Vito of Mayfield, $1,099.75, for property located at 315 Main St., Forest City.
These are the first liens we have seen filed by the sewer authority in a number of years. Dont know if it is the start of something new but, if it is, we will be updating the list from time to time.
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Would like to take this opportunity to wish a speedy recovery to Clara Jane Brown, a county auditor, who is recovering from surgery. You are missed at the courthouse. Get well soon and hurry back.
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