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Issue Home September 30, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

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

Slices of Life

Words I Love To Hear

There are many phrases in the English language that I like to hear, but the very best one is, "You don’t have to get supper tonight." And that’s what I’m telling myself as I sit here drinking licorice tea and writing at four o’clock in the afternoon.

Tonight is a covered dish (potluck) dinner at church, and my big bowl of potato salad waits smugly in the refrigerator. What a good feeling.

This was an afternoon in the kitchen as I made the last of company turkey breast into turkey noodle soup. While that was cooking, I went through the many steps of making the potato salad. Of course I had to sample a good-sized portion after it was done, just to be sure it was all right. Then there were muffins to bake, a special dressing to make for the fresh tomatoes I’d been given. A day goes fast when you’re cooking.

It’s such a good feeling to have food prepared and stashed away in the refrigerator. Because I’ve had guests on and off for a week, I had a delightful assortment of leftovers in the refrigerator when the power failed a week or so ago. That was my greatest sorrow that my leftovers had to be thrown away. The freezers held (except for a new container of ice cream which I shouldn’t have anyway), but I didn’t feel safe eating the chili, egg salad, various cooked vegetables, relishes, desserts, etc. that were in the refrigerator. So, the refrigerator got hoed out and I was left to start again on the cooking.

Maybe it was the memory of that lost chili that prompted me to order a bowl of chili out of town this week. I knew I’d made a mistake when I saw this heaped-up bowl that was set in front of me. Chili is not supposed to stand up in a mound. I tried it and the taste was good. I started digging around for the beans, which are good healthy fiber. I found maybe ten kidney beans, three small chunks of onion and all the rest was crumbled up hamburger. It was like eating a bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce, but without the spaghetti or sauce. Very interesting recipe. I ate a little of it, but somehow I couldn’t force myself to eat my whole week’s allotment of meat in one sitting. I declined politely when the waitress asked me if I wanted to take it with me. Then I came home and chomped on some raw vegetables that were handy.

Cooking for one is definitely not fulfilling. Either you eat the same thing for a week, or you eat strange combinations from the freezer. Add low fat, high fiber to that and the menu gets more limited. Ah, for the good old days when I ate anything I wanted with no thought to calories, heart-healthy choices, additives and partially hydrogenated oils. Cooking was creative and soul satisfying with ever-changing menus and an audience to applaud my efforts and make conversation while we partook of our meals.

Mrs. Morris tries to make mealtime friendly by standing by my chair, talking now and then, and begrudging me every bite I take. Maybe the answer to my dilemma is to set her a place at the table. She might be ready for that, being that she did eat oatmeal with rice milk for breakfast a few days ago. Probably she gets tired of eating the same things day after day, too. We could try changing menus. Cat food would certainly be handy, if not gourmet. And I certainly wouldn’t get anything with a label that had the word fish on it!

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100 Years Ago

CLIFFORD: Five masked robbers, after entering the home of John Stephens at Gun Hill, near West Clifford, tortured the inmates, stole $1,200 and escaped by holding villagers at bay with drawn revolvers. The family consists of two brothers, Alpha, Fayette, and two sisters, Deffy and Mary. They were awakened from their slumbers by the crashing of the main door and soon after five men, wearing masks entered the bedroom. The women were compelled to go in one room where they were tied to a bed. The robbers secured $800 in cash, a note for $350 payable to F. M. Stephens, and signed by Susie and John Bennett, a check for $30 signed by E. L. Ridgway and other valuables. The quintet then bound and gagged the four inmates leaving the house at a slow pace. Farmers in the vicinity halted the men but with drawn revolvers the robbers made their escape. One sister in the house who had escaped notice from the robbers untied the bonds about her brothers and sisters when the robbers left and a search was made for the burglars, but no trace of them could be found. Sunday night there was another house-breaking in that section, but not with the success that attended the visit to the Stevens homestead. The entry Sunday night was at the home of the widow of James Duncan, on the T. D. Reese farm, Welsh Hill, about four miles from the Stevens house on Gun Hill. Another circumstance of peculiar interest is that the supposed Troinkle was taken from Welsh Hill. The visitors to the Duncan home were frightened after making an entrance. There is a decided shaky feeling in that community over the presence of marauders. This is the third robbery within two weeks. (William Dennier, better known as Bill White, a professional criminal, is in the lock-up on suspicion of being a member of the gang that robbed the Stevens family.) More next week...

LANESBORO: Walter Kitchen, who has been clerk in Buckley Bros' store for a number of years, has secured a position at Olean. His place in the store being filled by David Soop. AND: In the Lackawanna county court last week, W. "Hub" Bushnell, formerly of Lanesboro, was indicted for murder of 13-year old Andrew Doran at Dunmore, May 13 last. The child was playing in a field and was shot by Bushnell, who is a farm overseer for a railroad company, who claims that he mistook him for chickens.

OAKLAND TWP.: The County is building an iron bridge at Canavan's in Oakland Township, in charge of a. J. Cosgriff.

BROOKLYN: "On and after Monday, October 5, 1903, I shall be pleased to show all the new things in Millinery. Having spent the past two weeks in New York in connection with this work, I feel confident that I can please all who may trust their work with me." As advertised by Mrs. Alice Eldridge, Brooklyn, Pa. AND: The new condensery plant which has just been erected here will be started up Thursday morning. The company has already hired 10 women and a number of men. W. Cameron has been engaged as night watchman.

STARRUCCA: About 600 tons of coal were dumped near Starrucca in a recent wreck on the railroad and now people in that vicinity are taking advantage of the situation by buying it at $3 per ton.

MONTROSE: The Western Star Jubilee Singers, the concert company which is to appear at Village Hall, next Tuesday night, has the following review by Rev. A. Bergen Brown, of McGrawsville, N.Y.: "It is the only entertainment that I have had experience with that will invariably draw a larger crowd the second night than the first. Their singing of old plantation melodies and Southern camp-meeting songs is splendid." They are refined people and well educated, possessing clear, sweet, soul-touching voices. It is an opportunity for lovers of pure, unadulterated music that should not be lost.

RUSH: Mabel McCain leaves this week for New York, where she will take a course in music. [Mabel attended Julliard.]

SILVER LAKE: The annual reunion of the Hill family was held at the home of Arthur Hayes on Sept. 11th. There were 66 members of the family present and 22 were children under the age of 10 years. The dining room was beautifully trimmed with autumn leaves and dahlias. After dinner and business meting a greeting was read by Lydia Rogers, followed by a recitation and music. The party was then photographed.

WEST AUBURN: The carpenters had just completed a silo 36 ft. high Saturday evening for W. B. France, and the windstorm of Sunday last blew it to the ground.

FAIRDALE/RUSH: Elmer Dayton, while engaged in cutting ensilage on the farm of his father, C. D. Dayton, between Fairdale and Rush, accidentally thrust his right hand among the rapidly revolving knives and in a twinkling his arm was severed between the wrist and forearm. He was immediately cared for and when Dr. E. R. Gardner, of this place, who was summoned, arrived, he found the young man in a much better condition than is usually the case when an accident occurs, owing to prompt measures being taken to prevent loss of blood. The unfortunate young man is still in his teens, and a host of friends have expressed their deep and heartfelt sorrow that he should be thus handicapped through life.

UNIONDALE: Last week, Wednesday, our little town was the scene of two very pleasant weddings. Prof. A. P. Thomas, of Carbondale, and Miss Carrie Bronson, were quietly married at an early hour by Rev. A. G. Miller, of Phillipsburg, N. J. Prof. and Mrs. Thomas are taking an extended tour in New York State and will, on their return, reside in Carbondale. In the afternoon Harry Goodrich, of Forest City, and Jennie Bennett were married at the M. E. parsonage. A reception was held at the home of the bride's parents on River St. and the happy couple took a north bound train for a tour.

LENOX: Lenox township maintains 14 schools for teaching about 150 scholars. The directors have tried to consolidate several of the schools but the patrons, objecting to the closing of the school in their districts, it has not been dome. It takes a long time to convince people that concentration of schools is not only better for the pupil but [also] cheaper for the taxpayers. Four teachers could give the children of the township better instruction and at an expense of $200 less a month, which would more than pay the expense of taking every child in the township to a central school.

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Kalen Kropa Named To State Basketball Team

Kalen Kropa, a junior at Rockingham County High School, was one of 12 players chosen statewide to play on Team North Carolina, the defending 2002-03 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) champion girls’ basketball team. Members were chosen on the basis of academics, attitude and ability by the Girls’ Basketball Committee of the N.C. Association of the AAU.

Miss Kropa’s team traveled to Detroit, during July and August to compete in the AAU Junior Olympics Games. Kropa has been a member of the school basketball team at Rockingham High since seventh grade, under the coaching wing of Woody Hall.

Kropa, a guard, finished the 2002-03 season with 403 points (13 points per game) on the Lady Cougars – with a 28-3 record – who won the Piedmont Triad 3-A Conference title and the 3-A Eastern Regional Final where she was named the Most Valuable Player for the second straight season. The 5’, 6" Kalen also excels in rebounds and assists.

Young Kalen, whose father, Ron was a star athlete at Elk Lake, prior to moving south, suffered a severe injury during one of their games. At first it was believed to be nothing, but later it was found she had a knee injury.

According to her father, "I’ve seen her hit the floor many times, but this time was all it took. Kalen had knee surgery May 2. She is in therapy and according to all reports, she will be ‘fit and ready’ for the next season."

Kalen is the daughter of Ron and Kathleen (Kiki Nataline) Kropa. The proud grandparents are Angelo (Nick) and Patsy Nataline of Susquehanna and bill and Naomi Kropa of Springville, PA. (A personal note: no doubt we all like to brag about our children and the Nataline’s and Kropa’s are no different. Want to hear more about Kalen, ask the grandparents. My congratulations to Kalen. Keep up the good work.)

American Legion Post 86

Installs New Officers

The Susquehanna Strider-Teskey Post 86, American Legion, on Wednesday, September 17, 2003, installed its newly elected officers for the years 2003-04.

After the covering of the "Empty Chair" by First Vice Commander Joe Bucci with the POW/MIA Flag, and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, Manny Mirith, Commander of the 15th District, with the aid of District Deputies Roger Williams and Brian Price serving as Sgt. of Arms, the installation of new offices took place in Memorial Hall.

Installed were: Commander, Peter Janicelli; First Vice Commander, Joseph Bucci; Second Vice Commander, Louis Parrillo; Adjutant, Scott Darling; Chaplain, Stanley Lindow; Sgt. at Arms and Historian, Roger Williams; Trustees, Thomas Hurley, Ernest Grausgruber and Charles Aliano; Finance Officer, Jesse Gow; Judge Advocate, Padraic Kane; Members at Large, Mark Tarbox and William Jenkins.

More on 1853–1953 Centennial: the Susquehanna City Hospital (Willow Ave.) was established in 1904. Soon after its organization, the name was changed to Simon H. Barnes Memorial Hospital at the request of Mrs. Barnes, who left large amount of money to the institution. For a number of years it was also a training school for nurses. The hospital still plays an important part in the life of the community. There is an active Ladies Auxiliary, which is headed by Miss Nellie Jane DeWitt. Miss Anna Maroney is the present Matron of the hospital. (The hospital stayed open until the new hospital, the Barnes-Kasson County Hospital was built in 1964 on Turnpike Street.)

(A very sad day) – In September of 1933, Train No. 8 was involved in a tragic accident just outside Binghamton, opposite State Hospital. As a result nine residents of Susquehanna were killed. This tragedy is still fresh in the minds of many of our people. (That evening the Susquehanna Transcript printed a special edition.)

Editor U. G. Baker wrote the following on the book (which can also be appropriate for today): "With God’s continued help and guidance; with the power to see right and do right, and to be fair and considerate of each other, those living here this Centennial Year are proud to be citizens of this community, and are happy, especially happy, because so many former residents and longtime friends, all well wishers, are spending the week here in what we folks living here call the best town in the whole world, ‘Because it is our Home Town.’"

ANOTHER Sad Day – On January 20, 1945, a tragic fire occurred in Oakland where the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Armond DeLucia were burned to death. (Note: the home was near Rebel’s Bar.)

MORE 300s Bowled – Right now it looks like a banner year for bowlers, not only for the pros, but also amateurs. At the Riverside Lanes, Susquehanna, two more 300s were rolled. Recently Jeff MacDonald rolled a 300. On September 19, Chris Graves of the Stub Card league bowled games of 160, 241 and 300 for a 701, his first 300 and first 700 series. On September 21, in the Sunday Mixed League Jack Beamer bowled games of 300, 217 and 269 for a 786 total. This was Jack’s second 300. At the Valley Lanes, Great Bend, Matt Woodmansee, 24, of Hallstead bowled a 300 on September 19 in the Dick Darrow League. (Congratulations to all.)

NEW YORK Democrats "Hungry" – Hungry for votes, that is. The country’s Democrats, fighting an "uphill" battle the last few years, are now not making it any better. Recently leaders of the Democrats in Buffalo have come out supporting a gay-marriage bill. If they believe that will get them more votes, they are mistaken. Yes, they will get the gay vote, but hundreds of others will abandon them. Whether or not they are in favor of such a "deal," it would be better if the Dems focused their money on other things. (Note: it is said that three gay members of the Legislature are sponsoring the bill.)

ENERGY PRICES "Up & Down" – Talking about the energy crisis, etc., Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors, quipped, "As long as you don’t eat, drive, heat, cool or light your homes, are in need of medical care, insure anything, have any children in college or use water, sewer or trash services, there is no inflation."

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Straight From Starrucca

A correction last week’s news; the pork supper on October 4 at the Methodist Church begins at 5 p.m. instead of 5:30. Takeouts at 4:30 p.m. For those coming in that direction, the bridge is always open on weekends.

Last Saturday, Bridget and Paul D’Agati, Julie Smith and Marie Swartz attended the thank you picnic at the Wheatley’s in Hop Bottom. The Wheatley’s are founders of "My Brother’s Keeper," that make quilts for the homeless.

The senior citizens met last Wednesday and reelected the same officers for next two years: Beverly Walker, President; Marie Swartz, Secretary/Treasurer; and Arlene Travis, Good Will Ambassador.

Carl and Virginia spent a week in Farmington, Maine at a cottage owned by her sister, Lori Wimmer. They also enjoyed a day at the ocean.

Brent Upright and Mary Pat called on Doris Davidson on Wednesday of last week.

Andrew Knox and family, Chenango Bridge, NY spent last Sunday with her mother, Barbara Glover and Roger.

Donna and Dennis Corrigan attended a family reunion in Vermont a week ago last weekend.

Harry and Betty Weldy, Maryland spent some time with their son and family and helped with some remodeling the Weldy’s are doing. They live in the former Barnes house. Robert Weldy has taken a year off from work to attend the University of Scranton to complete his degree in Electrical Engineering and have time to remodel their home.

Their daughter, Misha planned to try out in the cheerleading competition held at the school last week.

I had the opportunity to meet Renee Wander, the new owner of Jim and Sally Herr’s home, recently. She seems like a very nice person.

My son, Nelson came down from Jordanville, NY last Friday and took me to their home there for a few days, brought me back Tuesday, stayed overnight and did some much needed work around here. I’m very grateful to my sons for helping me out.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

This Is "Must" Reading

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me how the county’s recycling program is doing. Not having heard from any of the workers at the center or seen any reports pop up at meetings of the county commissioners, I had no answer. In fact, I still have no answer.

I know that the recycling program loses money every year but to what extent I have not been privy too in recent years. The last financial report I heard came from Jeff Loomis in 1999, his last year in office. I believe he was projecting a loss for that year in the neighborhood of $80,000.

However, something from the recycling center did surface during the closing moments of last week’s commissioners’ meeting. I have to share this with you because it is one of the most unbelievable documents I have ever seen in almost 50 years as a journalist.

As you may already know, there are some volunteers who work at the center doing their share to keep the recycling program going. Among them are Jim and Susan Jennings of Brooklyn Twp. That is, they were, until they received a copy of the recycling center’s Individual Volunteer Agreement.

Susan Jennings read portions of it to the county commissioners last week and they were flabbergasted. It reads more like a practical joke than something real until a volunteer gets to the bottom of the page and is directed to sign it in the presence of a notary public who is supposed to notarize it and return it to the volunteer who, in turn, is to get it back to the recycling center.

Here is an uncut and unabridged version of the three paragraphs that appear in the body of the Individual Volunteer Agreement:

"I understand that the activities involved with the program contain an element of hazard or risk. I recognize the inherent danger involved and take full responsibility for my actions and physical condition.

"I agree to indemnify and hold Susquehanna County and any cooperating agencies involved in the activities and any of their servants, agents, officials or employees free and harmless from any liability, loss, cost or expense including attorney fees, which may result from participation in the activities. I agree that I am fully responsible for payment of all costs resulting from the rendering of medical aid and ambulance services to the participants, and I authorize that all necessary first aid steps be taken as prescribed by qualified personnel. I grant full permission to use photographs, videotapes or any other record of this program for any purpose. By signing below, I agree and consent to this statement.

"I do hereby remise, release, quit-claim and forever discharge the said County of Susquehanna, their Heirs, Executors, Administrators, Successors, or Assigns, and every of them, of and from all, and all manner of action and actions, cause and causes of action and actions, suits, debts, dues, duties, sum and sums of money, account, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, agreements, promises, variances, damages, judgments, extents, executions, claims and demands, whatsoever, in law or equity, or otherwise howsoever, which against the said County of Susquehanna I ever had, now have, or which my Heirs, Executors, Administrators, Successors, or Assigns, hereafter can, shall or may have, for, upon, or by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, from the beginning of the world to the day of the date of these Presents; and especially for, upon or by reason of participation in the aforesaid volunteer work."

My friends, if you can make sense out of the above paragraphs you should be working in the law offices of a downtown Philadelphia lawyer.

And what did the county commissioners have to say after they heard the three paragraphs read:

"This did not come through the commissioners’ office," Chairman Gary Marcho said. "We did not know about this."

Marcho said the commissioners would discuss the document with the county solicitor and well they should. It is without a doubt the most ridiculous, ludicrous, whimsical, bizarre, and outlandish document I have ever read.

If this agreement reflects a sample of the type of paper work being generated and disseminated by the recycling center, somebody in authority had better yell, "No more!"

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