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Issue Home October 7, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

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

Slices of Life

More Cat Stories

I have a lap full of warm, soft, purring cat this morning. This is a sure sign that the weather is turning colder. When the floors start getting chilly, my lap is a perfect place for Mrs. Morris to nest. And I am delighted to have her there. She’s not only warm and comforting, but also an excuse for why I don’t get on with my day’s work. I will have a mohair velour robe when I stand up.

I was thinking about cat-hair clothing when I put on my black slacks yesterday. I’ve seen people in their Sunday best with their seat covered in cat hair, and I suspected that’s what I would look like by the time I left the house. I hadn’t planned to sit in this chair which Mrs. Morris and I share, but then, unconsciously, I did, so I had to get out the clothes brush. The other reason the brush was necessary is that my legs, covered by anything but especially something magnetic, are a fascination to her. Let me put on slacks or a long robe and she wants to rub and rub against me. Ah, the inconvenience we experience from these "children."

She was the center of attraction last night when the doorbell rang as I was talking on the phone. Trying to open the door as I ended the conversation, I was greeted by some young boys selling popcorn for the cub scouts. (I think it was scouts. In the ensuing confusion I wasn’t sure.) The boy doing the selling was enthralled with the cat, and was not much involved with his sale once he popped the question and laid the order form on the dining room table. I was trying to figure out which of these expensive cans of gourmet popcorn I could give away for a Christmas present, and he’s on the floor trying to play with Mrs. Morris who is under the china closet. He calls in his brother, who is waiting on the porch with his mother and another small child, I think. I’m hunting through my wallet and the piano lesson money basket trying to come up with seven dollars – the cheapest item. I could see he wasn’t carrying any change. The door is opening and shutting; Mrs. Morris is cowering. Luckily I had hung up the phone or we’d all be strangled by the twisting cord. Finally the mother interjects that they will be accepting checks when delivery is made, and after a brief "where do you live" conversation, life returns to normal.

I do have to say that Mrs. Morris is a great icebreaker. I can’t recall ever having anyone at my door or in my home who was not happy to see her. She shows no partiality among strangers. Unfortunately, people allergic to cats are as warmly greeted as those who aren’t.

Recently my very allergic-to-cats friend stopped in on her way to work, picked up a ball from my floor and said, "Oh, you’ve got a hackeysac ball."

I answered, "No, I’ve got a little-used cat ball, and I suggest you wash your hands before you leave here." Knowing how quickly her eyes swell shut if she rubs them, she obediently headed for the kitchen sink. And Mrs. Morris and I headed to the computer and got busy on our work. And so goes another day.

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100 Years Ago

MONTROSE: Chief Justice Joseph Brewster McCollum passed away on Sunday morning, October 4, 1903. J. B. McCollum was born September 28, 1832, on his father's farm in Bridgewater Twp. Until the age of 17 he led the ordinary life of the country lad, alternating between the performance of farm duties and attendance at the district school. He was a student for nearly three years at the old Franklin Academy in Harford and afterward entered the National Law School at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He served a term of service with Atty. R. B. Little and was admitted to the Susquehanna County Bar in 1855. He was a co-owner of the Montrose Democrat and after selling his interest he was in partnership with several county lawyers. He was elected President Judge of this County in 1878 and in May of 1888, at the Democratic state convention in Harrisburg, the nomination for Justice of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth was accorded him by a substantial majority. He served in this capacity until his death. No eulogy has yet been written which will express even in a measure the noble life, which the late Chief Justice led. In life he was a friend to rich and poor alike. The closing of his useful and brilliant career ends the life of one of our county's most noted and successful sons; one whose deeds both in public and private life will long be remembered with never a blot or stain to dim their luster.

BRANDT: The Brandt wood acid works, after being idle for about six months, resumed operations on Thursday of last week.

LENOX TWP.: Sept. 22d, was the 50th anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Bailey. Fifty-two relatives and friends of O. J. and Polly Loomis Bailey, assembled at their pleasant home on Prospect Hill near the head of Loomis Lake. Mrs. Bailey was born and brought up near the outlet of said lake; Mr. Bailey, when a boy and up to manhood, lived on the opposite side near the head of the lake. Mrs. Bailey is a granddaughter of Ezekiel Titus, one of the Nine Partners. AND: Soap Club No. 1 met with Mrs. J. E. Severance and [Soap] Club No. 2 met with Mrs. E. K. Severance, Wednesday, Sept. 30th.

HALLSTEAD: Wm. Corwin, the Hallstead tea agent, while en route to Montrose, had his horses scared by an automobile, and in the general shaking up that followed he sustained considerable loss by the breaking of dishes, etc.

FOREST CITY: Morgan Davis, an employee in the Delaware and Hudson breaker, had an eye blown out on Thursday of last week. The accident resulted from an explosion caused by a spark from Davis' lamp dropping into a keg of powder.

SUSQUEHANNA: The new free postal delivery route from Susquehanna to Jackson and New Milford township, is a success. Postman Holmes is said to be the handsomest route carrier in the State; he is married. AND: Boiler makers' Union No. 147, will give a dance in Hogan Opera House on Thursday evening, Oct. 22, in aid of a sick member.

SHANNON HILL, Auburn Twp.: Though the morning was rainy last Thursday, the bee at the [Methodist] church was a success. The large foundation stone donated by Winans & Degnan was put in place for the steps. Also the fine stone for the basement door, donated by Leslie Kellogg. Grading the yard, putting in hitching posts, mowing weeds, etc. was done. The Ladies' Aid served dinner to about 65; proceeds, $8.87. The total expense of building the church, including basement, furnace, carpet and lamps, is $1,803.52.

DIMOCK: Wright Chamberlin, of South Montrose, was through here last week, selling Dr. Decker's remedies.

SPRINGVILLE: Florence Lake's young girl friends made her a pleasant surprise last Friday, it being her 12th birthday and left her a nice collection of gifts.

BROOKLYN: About 30 friends of Louis Gere gave him a surprise party Friday evening, it being his 21st birthday. They left a purse of money as a token of their good will and sympathy for his misfortune.

FAIRDALE: W. T. Bundick, of Virginia, gave a rousing speech on Temperance and Prohibition at the M.E. church on Thursday evening. The people considered it a great treat to hear him. He handled License and the saloon quite rough. The Sheen brothers and sister were present and sang some fine selections of music. They can do that.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: Our telephone line is nearly up: all we lack is the money, the poles and wire.

NEW MILFORD: Samuel R. Fancher, for many years a resident here, who has conducted the hotel at Harford the past 4 months, has bought the property, the purchase price being $1,400. The traveling public will be well taken care of by Mr. and Mrs. Fancher and we believe the people of Harford will find nothing to criticize in their conduct of the place.

GUNN HILL: An arrest was made in the Gunn Hill robbery case. The suspect is William Dennier, a shiftless character who hangs about Susquehanna county, who it is alleged, returned recently from a stay in the penitentiary for having stolen a cow. He was in jail in Susquehanna, where Dect. Edward Neary, who has been searching for Dennier since the night of the robbery, went to develop the case against the accused, in order to hold him until the suspicious circumstances are cleared away. On Tuesday, the day before the robbery, four men came into a Susquehanna saloon and begged for a drink, promising to settle on their return. They got the drinks and departed. On Thursday, the day after the robbery, the quartette returned to the saloon, the man who begged the drinks before settling for the four they had, ordering and paying for another round at the same time. This was the beginning of their thirst allaying and in a short time the four were pretty drunk. They began to flash money, one seeming to try to show a bigger wad of bills than the other and gold certificates were observed, like the pile stolen at the Stevens home.

One of the party became exceedingly strenuous and pushed one of the bystanders out of the saloon and pulled a revolver and pointed it at his supposed victim. This ended the strenuous lad's fun. He was arrested and hustled off to the borough jail. The prisoner gave his name as White, but he was later identified as William Dennier. Dect. Neary picked up two men at Dundaff, whom he will hold, pending investigation.

NEWS BRIEFS: Owing to the cold, wet summer, poultry raisers have found it exceedingly difficult to raise turkeys, which even under fair conditions is no easy matter. The chances are that the festive birds will come high this year, possibly in the neighborhood of 25 cents per pound. AND: A correspondent of the Scientific American says: Let anyone who has a case of lockjaw take a quantity of turpentine, warm it and pour it on the wound, no matter where it is and relief will follow in less than a minute. Nothing better can be applied to a severe cut or bruise than cold turpentine. It will give certain relief almost instantly. Turpentine is also a sovereign remedy for croup. Saturate and place the flannel on the throat and chest and in each case three or four drops may be taken inwardly.

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NATIONAL COMMANDER "HOT" – John A. Brieden, American Legion National Commander is "hot under the collar" in regard to President Bush and Congress. Here’s what he had to say recently:

If Congress can meet the president’s request for an additional $87 billion to fund the ongoing war in Iraq, then Congress also can raise an additional $1.8 billion next year, and a $3 billion increase the following year, to meet the health care needs of veterans from the war on terror and earlier periods of service.

That is the position of John A. Brieden III, national commander of the 2.8 million-member American Legion, testifying in Washington before a joint session of House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees.

"A grateful nation does not commit its own to battle, then retreat from its moral obligation to them," Brieden said.

"POWs" WANTED – The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking former prisoners of war currently not using VA benefits to contact VA to find out if they may be eligible for disability compensation and other services.

More than 23,000 former POWs already receive compensation from the VA, and the department mailed information about benefits to another 4,700 known ex-POWs not using the benefits.

The department estimates it does not have as many as 11,000 addresses for former POWs.

Any former prisoner of war not receiving benefits who did not receive a letter recently should call 1-800-827-1000.

SCHOOL BUS Fines Increased – With the new school year underway, fines for violation of the Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law have increased sharply. The fine is now $250 up from $100. Additionally, offenders can incur a 60-day driver’s license suspension and five points on their driving records. Remember, when a red light is flashing on a school bus and the side-stop arm is out, drivers are required to stop at least 10 feet from the bus - when loading or unloading children.

PENNSYLVANIA "NEW" Hot Line – People who are aware of underage drinking parties or incidents in Pennsylvania but don’t want to get involved by calling police agencies, now have an option of calling a toll-free Underage Drinking Hotline. You can call 1-888-UNDER-21, to give an anonymous report of a suspicious party or business that may be selling alcohol to minors.

WANT TO HAVE Some Fun? – Call your telephone business office, look at all your phone charges – ask them what they are for. Bet you a wooden nickel, you will not get a straight answer and if you do, you still will not know what the "surcharges and taxes" are for. According to Jeff Platsky, a "Money Matters" columnist, one out of every three dollars paid to the phone company is for surcharges and taxes. "Actually," Mr. Platsky said, "37.5 percent of a phone bill is not for actual services rendered, but for other items." Yes, if you check your bill closely, you will find charges "you never heard of."

WINDSOR COACH "A Winner" – Monday, September 8, 2003 was a big day for Windsor girls’ tennis coach Michael O’Connell. His Black Knights beat Johnson City 4-3 and thus his 600th win milestone was reached. O’Connell has been coaching tennis at Windsor since 1967 and has the majority of his wins (326) as the girls’ coach.

He also coached the boys’ team for many years and racked up an impressive 274 wins with them, before handing the reigns over to Jeff Yaun before last season. Laurie Wightman has since taken over the boys’ program.

(Our congratulations to Coach O’Connell for his accomplishment and to all the girls that had a part in the team’s games.)

WHY, NO Hall of Fame? Evidently, the writer (no name) of a letter to this columnist, is either too young or hasn’t kept up with the County Transcript over the years. We have tried, on several occasions to get a county hall of fame started. Do you know that we did not receive one letter, or one phone call in favor. Does that answer your question? (You try organizing a hall of fame committee; I will give you all the help I can.)

YANKEE FANS. Do You Agree? – According to the New York Sunday Post, today’s fans (2600 of them) picked the following for their All-Time Yankee team:

Pitchers, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing; Catchers, Yogi Berra, Thurman Munson, Bill Dickey; First Base, Lou Gehrig, Don Mattingly, Tino Martinez; Second Base, Willie Randolph, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Gordon; Third Base, Craig Nettles, Clete Boyer, Red Rolfe; Shortstop, Derek Jeter, Phil Rizzuto, Frank Crosetti; Outfielders, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Bernie Williams; Relievers, Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Sparky Lyle.

The Yankees "Dream Team" – Pitcher, Whitey Ford; Relief Pitcher, Mariano Rivera; First Base, Lou Gehrig; Second Base, Tony Lazzeri; Third Base, Craig Nettles; Shortstop, Derek Jeter; Outfielders, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle; Designated Hitter, Reggie Jackson; Manager, Joe McCarty.

A MAN COMES HOME from an exhausting day at work, plops down on the couch in front of the television and yells to his wife, "Get me a beer before it starts." The wife sighs and gets him a beer. Fifteen minutes later, he says, "Get me another beer before it starts." She looks cross but fetches another beer and slams it down next to him. He finishes that beer and a few minutes later yells, "Quick, get me another beer. It’s going to start any minute."

The wife is furious. She yells back, "Is that all you’re going to do tonight? Drink beer and sit in front of that TV? You’re nothing but a lazy, drunken, fat slob. Furthermore..."

The man sighs and says to himself, "It’s started."

"I WAS SO UGLY as a kid we never had a jack-’o-lantern. They just stuck me in the window." (Rodney Dangerfield)


A transplant surgeon has called for a ban on "kidneys-for-ale" operations.

The extinction may have occurred when a steroid hit the earth.

Wanted: 50 girls for stripping machine operators in factory.

Stock up and save. Limit: one.

Our experienced mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals and smacks included.

NJ judge to rule on nude beach.

Child’s stool great for garden use.

The all-girl orchestra was rather weak in the bras section.

Alzheimer center prepares for affair to remember.

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Straight From Starrucca

The Wayne-Susquehanna Association of Baptist Churches met on Sunday, October 5 in the afternoon for their annual meeting.

The church conference of the Thompson Charge will meet here at Starrucca at the Methodist Church October 13 at 7:30 p.m. The Pastor-Parish Relations Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the same place.

Charles Levchak and Doris Davidson visited his sister, Helen in Johnson City on Thursday.

Pauline Davidson, son Donald and wife, Mary, Liverpool, NY were guests of Doris Davidson a week ago Monday.

Donald and Kristen left last Friday to spend a weekend in Canada.

A couple weeks ago, Wendy, Cathy and Country Bohannon were going by the Catholic Church when they encountered two baby bears playing alongside the road. One bear hit the car. No damage done to car or passengers, but the bear evidently had a sore paw from being run over.

Talked with Sister Therese lately and she tells me the old barn is now fixed up; the beams are now straight, and it will be made into a retreat house for priests. On October 11, fourteen boys from the academy in Moscow, PA, majoring in biology, will come and dismantle the beaver dam on their property. Also their calf, Lily has a cold. At present there are nine sisters, with one applicant visiting them in the near future to see if she likes the place. Three more college students are possibilities.

It’s too bad that thoughtless comments made to Donna Corrigan may cause them to sell their house and move. We need people like them in our community. They are ambitions and artistic and have redeemed an eyesore. They are involved in the community. Donna is secretary of the Civic Association and Dennis is involved with the history group. Perhaps an apology would be welcome and appreciated.

What a day this has been, the second of October. Bright blue skies suddenly darkened with angry clouds spilling out rain, hail and snow, blown by the wind, then blue skies again. Squalls off and on all afternoon. There was even a rainbow.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Kelly-Warren Tour No Big Deal

I visited the county courthouse last week and there was still some humming about the now infamous tour of Roberta Kelly, GOP candidate for county commissioner, and Mary Ann Warren, one of her Democratic opponents.

In case you were vacationing somewhere, Kelly and Warren visited many county offices together in what appeared to be a campaign jaunt. Both candidates say it wasn’t.

"It wasn’t really campaigning," Kelly said. "We were just walking around saying hello. It was really rather innocent."

Kelly said she was on her way out of the building after the September 24 commissioners’ meeting and Warren stopped her.

"She said wait a minute and I will walk you around. She introduced me to a few of them (county employees). It was more or less a nicety. It could have been perceived as something contrived but really it was innocent."

"Was I seen in her company? Yes," Warren said. "I did walk around the courthouse with her.

"Who would have thought something so innocent would be blown out of proportion. Am I supposed to snub her? Well, I am my mother’s daughter and my mother is very friendly and I guess I am too."

The incident did not affect the relationship between Warren and her running mate, Kathy Shelly.

"I think it’s wonderful that Mary Ann took Roberta around," Shelly said. "Jeff Loomis was also at that commissioners’ meeting and he didn’t offer to take her." Loomis is Kelly’s running mate. Republican County Chairman Ivan Burman viewed it as a step in the right direction.

"I see nothing wrong with it," he said. "If we had a group of commissioners that could get along perhaps we might get more accomplished."

Kelly also squashed a rumor that she had worked out a deal with Joey Franks, chairman of the Susquehanna County Democratic Party. Street talk had it that Republican Kelly sat back and allowed Democrat Nancy Hurley to succeed her as mayor of the Borough of Susquehanna Depot in exchange for Democratic support in the general election.

"No truth to that one," Kelly said. "Nancy had been council president before so she had the experience. When I resigned (as mayor) it was really out of my hands."

And Warren said she made a solo appearance in the United Fire Company’s Parade in Montrose because her running mate could not be there. She said her husband chauffeured her in a friend’s Corvette while Joey and Rick Franks walked and passed out Tootsie Rolls. Shelly confirmed Warren’s explanation.

So much for the (yawn) commissioners’ race in Susquehanna County. It sure would be nice if both sides would develop a campaign platform so the voters could get some idea of what the candidates perceive as immediate needs to improve the county. But then again, someone once said, "Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract from the real issues involved."

New Board Member

It probably set a new record for delays in creating a vacancy on a school board, but it finally happened. Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans appointed Barbara Mihelc to replace Ken Goben on the Forest City Regional Board of Education.

The Board of Education stalled long enough to keep Goben’s name on the ballot, perhaps believing he will win the seat even though he now lives in another county. This would allow the board to deny Goben’s appointment because he no longer lives in Forest city and appoint someone for two years.

When the board failed on two tries to replace Goben, it was decided to ask Judge Seamans to fill the vacancy. I don’t think the board expected the judge to act so quickly and I know a few school directors were disappointed by the judge’s selection. Ironically, three individuals submitted their names for the appointment and the school board voted on two of them but did not extend the privilege of a board vote to Mrs. Mihelc. She now emerges as the favorite to win the write-in race for Goben’s unexpired term.

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