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 October 21, 2003 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

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

Slices of Life

One Of A Kind

Well, we can breathe easier now; get rid of the guard dogs, unplug the security alarm system – maybe even take the locks off the doors. The Stradivarius is a rip-off.

For years since we inherited my husband’s grandfather’s fiddle, which had an inscription inside that read "Antonius Stradavari Cremonenlis 1716" we have laughingly talked about our million dollar violin and what we would do with all the money when we sold it. I never did think it was made by the famous 18th century violin maker, but, then, one never knows. So I took it to the library’s antique appraisal night. The appraiser said it was worth about $75 when repaired! So, now we know.

His tongue-in-cheek comment was, "Another Stradivarius." Apparently he sees lots of these.

But it is worth more to me because Grampa Dick (Dickerson) was one of my favorite in-laws, and he was still fiddling a little into his eighties.

He was the kind of person who never got old. His last independent home was in the upstairs apartment over his daughter. From there he was a great helper. In his eighties, he would insist on helping his son-in-law mow the lawn, shovel snow, or work in the garden. What patience Uncle Jack had.

The best story was when they painted the house. It was a big two-story house and Jack was painting it all white. Grampa Dick would wait until Jack went to his day job and he’d get out the paint and brush and start where Jack had left off. However, the white never looked quite the same. The mystery was finally solved when Jack discovered him mixing motor oil with the paint. I’m not sure whether this was to make it go on better, or make it go farther.

The only access to his apartment was an outside stairway. One day his daughter saw him going up the stairs with what looked like a very heavy grocery bag. Not wanting to interfere, she didn’t ask questions. But soon the smell of ham permeated the air. Grampa had apparently gotten a craving for ham and he’d bought a whole smoked ham – probably fifteen or twenty pounds, and he was boiling it in his biggest kettle.

He had spent most of his life around horses, and was particularly fond of the horse races. So when fair week opened in September, just an alleyway from Grampa’s apartment, he could be found there watching the trotters. My husband and I were walking around the grounds one day and saw this tiny familiar-looking figure.

"Grampa’s been down at the racetrack again," my husband said. When Grampa got near us, he asked him, "What do you have in the bag, Grampa?"

"A little something," he answered. And that was the end of that conversation.

I do admire these spunky old folks who keep on going and doing just as long as they can. And Grampa was sure one of them. So it makes no difference to me whether his fiddle is worth a million dollars or ten dollars. It’s the memories and the character that count.

Back to Top

100 Years Ago

SUSQUEHANNA: Arthur W. Cook, of Oakland, has been granted permission by the Common Council to lay gas mains through the streets of that borough.

SPRINGVILLE: The new road from John O. Lyman's down through by the Lott and Fike quarries is now open for travel and is a great improvement over the old one.

RUSH: Lorenzo Bunnell and wife, after living in Binghamton a number of years, have returned to Rush, their old home. AND: Eva Wilcox, our popular dressmaker, has returned from Binghamton.

NORTH BRIDGEWATER: James Clough worked Monday and Tuesday putting up wires for the Montrose Electric Light Co.

HERRICK CENTRE: Wm. Rushmore, a prosperous Herrick Centre farmer, was buncoed out of 50 of his good dollars, which he tilled out of the soil, through the means of an entirely new scheme on Monday. It happened this way: Rushmore was fixing a piece of highway fence when a stranger came along; apparently the man was greatly disturbed. He anxiously scanned the ground as he walked along, in a manner that led the unsuspecting farmer to think that he had lost something so he followed up the impression with the question "Lost something stranger?" The man said that he had lost a diamond ring valued at $600. He also said that he was in a great hurry to reach Scranton and that if the farmer would take up the matter for him and find the valuable he would present him with $100 as a reward. Rushmore agreed, and the man passed on to be followed by another stranger, No. 2, smoking a pipe. As he passed by Rushmore, he dropped his pipe and on recovering it uttered a surprised exclamation which attracted Rushmore's attention and he saw the stranger holding a case in his hand which contained a bright, sparkling diamond. Rushmore, with more visions of that $100 reward in his head than sense, offered the man $10 for his find which was of course refused and a compromise was effected on $50, which Rushmore paid as a monument to fool sense and cupidity. He went to Scranton to restore the lost treasure and secure his reward from the stranger who had offices in the Connell building, but he found him not. A jeweler told Rushmore that the diamond had no value.

WEST AUBURN: Monday evening, while Charley Bowen and Merton Bolles were coming to the village, their horse became unmanageable and they both jumped out and left the horse to drive himself. No serious damage resulted, merely a nervous shock to the young men.

JONES LAKE [Lake Montrose]: A band of gypsies have been camping near Jones' Lake the past week.

LANESBORO: Mrs. Fred A. Taylor, formerly of Lanesboro, but more recently of Butte, Montana, and the past year of Seattle, died very suddenly in the latter place Oct. 4, of dropsy of the heart. Mrs. Taylor was a lovable lady and her sudden death is a great shock to her friends everywhere. She leaves a husband and two sons to mourn her loss.

HEART LAKE: The last carload of ice was shipped from the big icehouse at Heart Lake on Oct. 9. From 8 to 12 men have been employed loading it since May 20 and about 400 carloads have been shipped.

SILVER LAKE: The name of the postoffice at Mud Lake, this county, has been changed to Laurel Lake, it is reported.

MONTROSE: On Thursday, October 15, Mrs. Armaluna Park celebrated her ninety-sixth birthday anniversary. Mrs. Park, we believe, is our oldest resident and for one of her age is exceedingly active and in good health. Born the same year Fulton invented the steamboat, think of the innumerable improvements in every line she has witnessed during this long period; things then unthought of have been invented, perfected and are now so common that they are regarded as necessities. Will the next century see such great advances? Undoubtedly. Electricity and the air are yet to be conquered and in them lie unimaginable possibilities. It is quite remarkable that three of our oldest citizens should have their birthday anniversaries fall so closely together--Miss Maria Avery having reached the age of eighty years on Tuesday of last week; D.H. Coon, eighty-one years on the day following, and Mrs. Park, as stated. Congratulations in having reached such a grand old age and hope that they may continue hale and hearty for many more years to come.

STEVENS' POINT: At Stevens' Point, during the recent high water in the Starrucca creek, the dwelling house occupied by V. Paugh was carried away, together with the contents. The blacksmith shop of Mr. Parker was wrecked. The creek was the highest in 20 years. At one point a cow fell into the creek and had a free ride of three miles, when she was pulled out.

SOUTH GIBSON: The new South Gibson creamery, it is said, will be the finest in the county.

ARARAT: Mr. and Mrs. John Graham received word Saturday of the death of their daughter, Frances, in Carbondale, Friday night. The remains came up on the flyer, Saturday night, and the funeral will be held on Tuesday. Interment in our cemetery. The family have the sympathy of the entire community in the sudden bereavement.

HARFORD: Our harness-maker is getting extravagant--driving a fast horse, new wagon and a new harness, and smoking a ten cent cigar. How's that!

GLENWOOD [Lenox Twp]: The Glenwood hotel has passed into the hands of the Grange Society of Lenox and we now expect to see a general overhauling of the building, which when completed will be the most commodious Grange hall in the county, if not in the State. It contains a large hall, toilet and dressing room; a large dining room, and a kitchen separate, also a large barn for the comfort of the grangers' teams; also a fine meadow where hay enough can be cut to keep the team chewing while the lodge is in session. A good investment sure.

GREAT BEND: Rev. and Mrs. Wm. Baldwin are entertaining their three sons--one a doctor from Florence, Italy, one a doctor from Connecticut and one a lawyer from Tioga Co., N.Y. AND: Many from here went to Deposit [N.Y.] to attend the races. The track was good and the large number of good trotters and pacers were shipped directly there, from this place.

NEW MILFORD: Two men from New Milford, formerly acquitted on the charge of breaking and entering the boathouse and dynamiting the waters of Loch Eden, the summer home of Dr. J. Arthur Bullard of Wilkesbarre, were arrested when State Fish Commissioner, Meehan, came to New Milford and took up the case.

COUNTY NEWS: Prof. Larrabee, president of Keuka College, has been spending the week in town. He is a Susquehanna county boy. AND: "What, asks a lady correspondent, "do you think of the propriety of ladies' raising their skirts upon the streets?" We can't say that we are a competent judge as we have never given the subject more than a casual glance, but it's all right as far as we have seen.

Back to Top


O’HARE’S IRISH PUB – Formerly called Briar’s Olde Colonial Inn on Riverside Drive in Susquehanna, is going "great guns." Not only are they featuring different bands and music weekly, but are also having entertainment during the week. (Check their ad in the County Transcript for details). Don’t let the "Irish Pub" name have you believe that everything is "Irish." Not so. They also have "American" delights. They feature American music along with Irish music. If you haven’t tried O’hare’s, you don’t know what your missing. Beverages of all makes. Food as you "want it," all deliciously cooked. Take a run up to the Pub, when you are looking so spend a few hours. Listen to fine music while you are dining and late (when finished eating) dancing. Ask someone you know to introduce you to the new owners, Dermot and Brooke O’Hare. You will enjoy your visit with them.

TIGER Mauls Magician – It has been said a million (maybe hundreds) of times, that no pet, regardless of size is tame. Be it a cat, be it a dog, be it any kind of animal. Just recently a tiger, on stage with its trainer, magician Roy Horn, turned on its trainer, grabbed him by the throat and dragged him off the stage, where Horn was rescued by stagehands. He was in serious condition (October 4). This is not the first – or last – time that a "tame" pet will attack its owner. Again, as the saying goes, "There are no tame animals. They can turn on you at anytime."(Just recently, I heard about a dog in the area grabbing his master by the arm, inflicting a large gash from the elbow to his hand.)

IT WAS A SHAME! – That the Giants – and Bonds – were eliminated by the Marlins. Yeah, too bad. That, that self-acclaimed, superstar, the greatest of all time, Mr. Bonds, didn’t even get in the league playoffs. Yes, the arrogant one, does not belong in any series. Yeah, again, he won’t get a chance to show – according to Bonds – the best ballplayer ever. He wanted a World Series ring in the worst way. The only way he will ever get a WS is to buy one. Can you imagine any present player saying they are better than some of the ole timers? Sure, they are good. Maybe just as good. But not better, like Bonds claims he is. He sounds like Cassius Clay, "I am the Greatest." But Clay always said it with a smile. Not Bonds. He is dead-serious. What an ego! "Bonds." James Bonds, he is not.

RAISE BASKETS – Colleges are planning on moving the three-point line in basketball for the 2004-05 season. The new line will be 20 feet, six inches, an additional nine inches. OK, good and well. But with the height of present cagers – some reaching over seven feet – in both college and the pros, my idea, at least in the pros, is to raise the baskets, six to nine inches.

MEDAL FOR "Jackie" – It’s about time. The House has approved, by voice vote to award a Congressional Medal of Honor to Jackie Robinson, the first colored player in the major leagues. Jackie deserves one for the "remarks" hurled at him during his rookie year.

WORLD WAR TWO Memorial – Nearly 59 years after the end of World War II, the National World War II Memorial will be dedicated in Washington May 29, 2004. The American Legion is planning activities in Washington as part of the celebration. Legion members and their families are encouraged to attend the ceremonies.

NATIONAL Bowling Records – Storm Traumaer of California has tied the ABC four-man team game record with 1,137 pin performance. Tom Compton and Nick Morgan each bowled 300, Randy Oliver 279 and Mike Lim 258. A Schenectady, NY team bowled 1137 in 1997. Also according to the Bowling Magazine, Ken Muscat, 36, Canandaigua, NY, during the past season – in one league – bowled eleven 300 games and seven 800 series. His season average for 87 games is 249. The left-hander had a high 879 last October.

NEED GI MEDALS? – Veterans who believe they earned medals during their service can obtain them by writing to the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

The request should include the veteran’s full name, rank, address, phone number, Social Security number, service number, claims for medals, branch of service, date and place of birth, date and place of entry into military service and date and place of discharge, followed by the veteran’s signature.

Requests for medals also will be handled by representatives of the Governor’s Veterans Outreach and Assistance Center who make periodic visits to area communities to assist vets with matters such as these.

TEEN FOOTBALL Record – Alex Ashley of Charleston, WV, a junior place-kicker at Capital High, set a state record by kicking five field goals in five attempts in a 38-15 win over Riverside High. He also converted three extra points, thus personally outscoring the Warriors by three points.

TWO-WAY BOWLER – Lesley Boczar of Hollywood, FL, age 38, a comptroller, rolled a left-handed 300 game to become the first Women’s International Bowling Congress member to bowl perfect games with each hand. Nerve damage to her right hand forced her to become a southpaw after her 300 game in 1997.

NEVER TOO OLD – Forrest Saylor, 78, of Garden City, MI, owner of an auto parts store, pitched a perfect game in the North American Senior Circuit Softball National World Series. He had a 52-8 season record and is a member of the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame.

A LAUGH OR TWO INFIDELITY – The husband beckoned his wife over to his deathbed. He whispered, "Darling, I can’t go to meet my maker with a guilty conscience. I must tell you I was unfaithful to you." "I know," said the wife, "why do you think I poisoned you."

FORGETFUL HUNTER – Two hunters just settled into their duck blind as dawn began. "I wish I’d brung the TV with me," said the first. The second, "Why a TV set?" "Because I left my ammunition on it."

NOT WORKING – "Hey," the foreman shouted, "why aren’t you working?" The laborer said, "Because I didn’t see you coming."

BAD CHECK – Doctor to elderly patient, "Mrs. Smith, that last check you gave me came back." "Then we’re even," said Mrs. Smith. "So did my arthritis."

Back to Top

Straight From Starrucca

Remember the song, "There’s A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight"? Last Saturday night, October 11, between sixty and seventy people gathered at the Baptist Church to hear Raymond and Evelyn Sampson give a video and talk about "Old Starrucca." It took about an hour for the video, with Evelyn narrating and Raymond adding a word or two about bridges, signs, old homes, the fair, acid factories, railroad, train wrecks, etc.

After the video there was a sing-along of old time songs with Phyllis Chaffee at the piano. Then they all had a chance to satisfy their hunger by the many delicious foods that had been brought in. So everyone seemed to enjoy going back in time to old Starrucca.

This was the final celebration of 150 years of Starrucca becoming a borough and many thanks to Evelyn and Raymond for their very fine and nostalgic video.

On September 20, 2003, Kristen Renee DiBalko was married to Joseph McNally in a lovely wedding at Woodlock Springs. Kristen is the daughter of George and Mary DiBalko of King Hill (the Stearns homestead). Both are accountants working in New Jersey.

Saturday, October 11 was the wedding of my grandson, David to Michelle Smith in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Binghamton, NY. David is the son of Dan and Linda Dickey. Michelle is the daughter of Julia and James Smith of Kirkwood, NY. Reception was held for about 300 guests. The couple is honeymooning in Cancun, Mexico.

Guests of Alice and Kirk Rhone over the weekend were Helen Stone, Pitman, NJ; Jeff Rhone and Jeannine Scinta, Delhi, NY; and Cinn and Patty Scinta, Andes, NY. They were on hand to celebrate Julie Hargett’s birthday.

Bob and Betty Luz, Nelson and Phyllis Dickey stayed at my home over the weekend and attended David and Michelle’s wedding.

Thanks to those kind friends who called and who sent cards, celebrating my eighty-seventh birthday.


Back to Top

Along the Way...With P. Jay

More On FC School District

The Pennsylvania School Code states that a school board must meet at least every two months. As most of us know, the general rule is that school boards meet monthly. In fact, they usually approve their monthly meeting schedules at the reorganization meetings in December.

If my memory serves me right, at its last reorganization meeting, the Forest City Regional Board of Education voted to hold regular public meetings on the second Monday of the month. However, because the second Monday in October was a holiday, the board changed its meeting date to Tuesday, October 14. On Friday, October 10, I received a fax from the school district advising me that the board would not meet on October 14 and that the meeting would not be rescheduled.

School Superintendent Bernice Lukus told board members that board President Joseph Lucchesi canceled the meeting because he felt he could not muster up a quorum. I talked to some board members and they told me that Lucchesi did not contact them as to whether or not they would be at the October 14 meeting.

"How did he know he did not have a quorum?" one somewhat puzzled director asked. "He never contacted me."

From what I was able to piece together, Lucchesi got word that board members Joseph Farrell and Jim Kilker could not make the meeting. Then two more members, Fred Garm and Tom Baileys, both of whom in my opinion are aligned with Lucchesi, said there was the "possibility" that they could not be there.

Wait a minute! This is a nine-member board! Even if the four directors mentioned above could not make the meeting, there was still the likelihood that a quorum could answer roll call. However, faced with the possibility of not having his lieutenants alongside him, Lucchesi took it upon himself to cancel the meeting.

The School Code states that the president shall preside at all meetings. It gives him the power to call a special meeting at any time. But I fail to find anything in the School Code that allows the board president to arbitrarily take it upon himself to cancel a scheduled meeting.

The opinion here is that Lucchesi hemmed and hawed on Ken Goben’s resignation from the school board long enough to keep Goben’s name on the ballot in Forest City’s Region Eight. Why? Lucchesi et al think enough Democrats and Republicans will vote straight tickets and carry Goben to victory. That would give the board the opportunity to deny Goben the seat because he now lives in another county and appoint whomever Lucchesi et al want.

And why would Lucchesi et al want to play this silly little game? Sources tell me that the board is split over a personnel matter. Lucchesi et al is leaning in one direction while the other half of the board is leaning in another. Lucchesi et al would prefer that the board not the voters select Goben’s replacement.

Equally as puzzling is why Lucchesi chose not to reschedule the meeting. The next meeting will be in November and just happens to be after the general election.

The County Race

There is, of course, only one race in the county and that is for the three seats on the Board of Commissioners. This is another one of those times where there is no incumbent running. Two of them , Republican Lee Smith and Democrat Cal Dean got knocked out in the primary election and the third commissioner, Gary Marcho, chose not to seek reelection.

Albeit that the candidates of both political parties are working hard, the campaign itself is dull. In fact, it is boring. Every candidate seems to be echoing the usual rhetoric that has become symbolic with political campaigns in Susquehanna County. They all oppose tax increases; they will cut back on unnecessary spending; they will work with county agencies to promote business and industrial growth; they will support legislation that helps the farm community; and, they will promote tourism. Like the fella says in the TV commercial, "blah, blah blah, blah blah blah."

Political candidates in all levels of government just do not seem to pay enough attention to the needs of the average American taxpayer. You know the ones I mean –those of us who still eat baloney sandwiches, drink Kool-Aid, and drive 10-year-old cars.

Back to Top

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