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 January 20, 2004 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

An Inside Look
Along the Way...With P. Jay

Slices of Life

Fighting The Cold Weather Crazies

I fear that Mrs. Morris has cabin fever. Don’t we all? This cold weather that doesn’t let up for days has her disoriented and restless. It’s very early in the morning and she’s already tried to get out of three doors. Now I hear her racing in the upstairs hall.

"I’m sorry, Morris, but life is what it is," I tell her.

For some reason she never came on the bed with me last night, which was good in the sense that I could move my legs. Usually she manages to get in the middle of the bed, halfway between top and bottom, and on top of the covers, so if I want to roll over I have to scrunch my legs up and around the lump that hangs on tenaciously.

I think she spent the night in the upstairs hall against the electric heater that runs along the floor. About six o’clock she started her maneuvers; racing through the upstairs and scritch-scratching in her litter box. Then she came yowling into my room.

"Come on up on the bed," I said, trying to prolong my stay under the warm blankets. Sometimes that invitation will work, but not this morning. I finally got up and fed her. Then she wanted to go to the basement where her other litter box is kept. Two minutes later she’s back in the kitchen and trying the back door.

"No, you’re not going out there. It’s much too cold," I pronounce as I pour my coffee.

"OK, if you say so," she says as she heads for the front door. I finally give in and open the front door and storm door, all the while explaining why she doesn’t want out. I’m right. Thirty seconds of frigid air later, she walks away.

Finally all is quiet upstairs and down, so I have to assume that being as she has me up and going, she’s gone back to bed.

I’m not sure but what the cold, confining weather has made us both a little crazy. I don’t know what I want either. My mind is like a yo-yo. Today’s long range plans get discarded tomorrow for something entirely different. I feel like Mrs. Morris in that I can’t find what I’m looking for and no door is the right door.

I guess it’s time to go back to my library of self-help, how-to-fix-your-life books and start another crash course. My shelves are lined with titles such as: "Wishcraft --How to Get What You Really Want," "Excavating Your Authentic Self," "What Color Is Your Parachute," "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway," "Anatomy of the Spirit," "Care of the Soul," and many more.

I could start a lending library if my books weren’t all marked up with personal comments, underlined sections and exclamation points. They become much too personal for other eyes.

I did take down the Christmas tree today, and sad as it is to see it go, it does symbolize putting the old year behind and moving on.

Maybe tomorrow will warm up a bit and Mrs. Morris and I both will forget our cabin fever craziness and move on with our lives.

I wonder what we’ll be when we grow up?

Back to Top

100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: Judge Searle handed down an opinion Thursday morning in the case of Festus Madden, of Forest City, who was in jail for killing Patrick Fleming at Forest City, in which J. M. Kelly, Esq., had entered habeas corpus proceedings. The Judge decided that Madden should be released on bail, $5,000, and W. J. Maxey and M. J. Welsh, qualified for that sum and Madden was released and returned to his home in Forest City Saturday.

MONTROSE: The young people of the A.M.E. Zion Sunday school will give one of their pleasing entertainments at the church, Monday evening, Jan. 25th, to which all are invited. Admission 20 cents. Programme: Chorus, Jubilee Song, Gospel Train; Solo, One Little Word, John Stewart; Jubilee, Turn Back Pharaoh's Army; Trio, Treasures That Gold Cannot Buy, Rosa Smith, Chester Reed, Henry Naylor; Solo, Hope Beyond, Mrs. Ella Chappel; Jubilee, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Medley, Mrs. Ella Chappel; Bass Solo, Mighty Deep, Chester Reed; Recitation, Jesse Thompson; Solo, Who's At My Widow? [Window?] Rosa Smith; Organ Solo, Sunset. AND: It was 22 degrees below zero at the Montrose House Tuesday morning. It was said to be -38 at Will Webb's. Oh yes, this is an old-fashion winter.

FRANKLIN FORKS: The People's Telephone Co. have elected the following officers for the coming year: Pres., James Clough; Sec'y-Treas. and Business Manager, A.R. Bush; Directors, E. L. Bailey, T. L. Smith and William Booth.

JACKSON: Henry Holmes and family have moved to Niagara, where they will keep the boarding house for W. H. Fletcher and son.

WEST LENOX: Frank Resseguie, of South Gibson, is bringing his milk to our station. Frank knows what is best for his pocket book.

BROOKDALE: Bartley Burns received word last week, from Cedartown, Georgia, that his son, Peter Burns, had been terribly burned from the effects of which he died in a few days. He had been absent from home about 16 years.

HOPBOTTOM: An oyster supper will be held at the home of Mrs. Will Wright, Saturday evening. Sleighs will be at the M. E. church at 7 o'clock to carry those wishing to go.

BROOKLYN: Brooklyn is to have a traveling library.

MIDDLETOWN TWP.: On December 31, 1903, occurred the death of Maurice Fitzgerald, aged 63, one of the most highly respected citizens of Middletown township, after a short illness. The funeral took place Sunday, Jan. 3, Rev. B. V. Driscoll officiating. In his sermon he paid a glowing tribute to the departed. Deceased had been a life-long resident of Middletown and gained the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. Besides a wife to mourn his loss he leaves seven children, Michael, William, Edward, Daniel and James of Middletown; John, of McKean county; Mrs. E. H. Redding, of Rush. Deceased was borne to the grave by his six sons acting as pall-bearers, and laid beside five children who preceded him to his eternal reward. Rest in peace.

UNIONDALE: Miss Augusta Curtis visited her sister, Mrs. A. Corey last week; she leaves soon for Alaska, where she will engage in teaching.

ALFORD: On Wednesday, while at Alford, Engineer "Jack" Spence applied the brakes when nearing the terminus of the road, but owning the icy condition of the rails the wheels were unable to grip them and the consequence was the engine ran into the bumping post, which, by the way is a good strong one, damaging the pilot and injuring the front of the locomotive to a considerable extent. Had the engine gone ten feet further it would have plunged over a high wall and the results would have been very serious. The rails were icy last evening from the sleet storm, which made the running much more difficult, but as the snowplow had been up in the afternoon the track was clear and Engineer Spence brought her in ahead of schedule-time.

AUBURN TWP.: An Auburn Four Corners correspondent says that some miscreant, "too cowardly and contemptible to be considered human," entered the mill of R. S. Hardie last Wednesday night and so displaced one of the head blocks that when the mill was started the saw was ruined and the operator's life endangered. Mr. Hardie also had one of his heavy belts cut not long ago. When the miscreant is caught there will be "something doing."

SUSQUEHANNA: The Alice Carey Concert Co. was to have appeared in Hogan's Opera House on Sunday evening, but the clergy objected, and the attraction, which was in the regular entertainment course, was cancelled.

LAWTON: At a meeting of Rush Grange No. 1167, the following officers were installed for the coming year--G. L. Pickett, master; Martin Golden, overseer; Mrs. Wm. Brotzman, lecturer; Jos. Brotzman, steward; Ira Terry, ass't steward; C. G. Flummerfelt, chaplain; C. D. Williams, treas.; D. W. Terry, sec'y; D. A. Shadduck, gatekeeper; Mina Wilbur, Pomona; Margaret Coleman, Ceres; and Rena Shadduck, Flora.

HALLSTEAD/GREAT BEND: A fair is to be held by the Hallstead and Great Bend Horse Breeders association to raise money to make necessary repairs and improvements to their grounds and buildings for the coming season. It is expected that the races to be put on next summer will eclipse anything ever seen in this section, and a large number of horsemen are coming here to train their horses upon the track and to be here for the races. It is expected to build as many more stables in the early spring as there are at present upon the grounds.

NEW MILFORD: The Lackawanna railroad has 700 locomotives and 27,000 cars of all descriptions. The combined length of these, coupled up, would reach a distance of 300 miles from Hoboken, N. J. to Bath, N. Y.

NEWS BRIEF: The sleet and rain storm of last night and this morning has wrought havoc in this vicinity. Telephone wires are down and communication with neighboring towns is practically shut off. The trains are experiencing considerable trouble in making anything like schedule time, owning to icy rails, and travel by wagon or foot is rather risky. The electric light plant in Montrose was obliged to shut down this morning as the wires were broken in many places by the weight of ice and huge limbs breaking off and falling upon them. In some instances even trees have been uprooted by the weight of ice, which clings to them, while limbs and smaller branches are littered about everywhere. The trees bordering the highways and in the spacious yards present a beautiful spectacle in their mantles of ice and the imposing grandeur of the scene will long be treasured within our memories.

Back to Top

An Inside Look

Back in junior high, I always thought high school was going to be so boring, because it just seemed like there was nothing to do! The jr. high student council was always trying to have dances and events like that, and it seemed that the high school just sat around and waited for prom to roll around. And although my views might have been a little skewed back then, for the majority it was true. Elk Lake just didn’t seem to have any school spirit, or in that matter, school pride. Boy, how things have changed.

Anymore, it seems to be an ongoing goal for student council to heighten our spirit, and in my opinion, they’re succeeding pretty well. One significant reason for this, and I’m sure a majority of the students would agree, is the student council supervisor, Mrs. Smith. Her main goal since she’s taken that position is to improve out student’s school spirit and get them more involved. And let me tell you, she’s done a great job. It simply amazes me at how keen she is on this idea, and her dedication. It’s, again, simply amazing. When you add in her spirit and devotion to brightening up our school to the student council’s ideas, you’ll find yourself with a lot of great ideas to get our school more spirited.

As said before, school spirit has been the supreme goal in everything. Student council hosts events, dances, sells clothing, and they even inform the students on what’s happening in sports or things of the like. One of the biggest events would have to be spirit week, which, conveniently, was this past week. Each year, at least 3 weeks get set aside for this occasion, and every day has a different theme, such as Green and White Day, to let the kids show a little fun spirit.

Now, with the snow days, I’m not positive if we’re going to have a repeated week, because due to the canceled school on Friday, we missed one of the most important parts of the week: the pep rally. During the last two periods of the day, the high school students are sent down to the gym to watch and participate in games, singing, dancing, and the ever famous screaming contest. Lastly, this time period is also set aside to recognize those students who participated in that season’s sports. Needless to say, this event really gives the kids a boost in spirit, just due to the fact that they’re actually being involved.

Every school has some lacking in school spirit because there is always that group of kids that think they’re "too cool" for it. But our student council is continuously battling that idea, and so far I think they’re winning. Good job to all the members; every school needs a little push for that spirit. Because, in the end, school pride makes a school work, and where’s a better place to start than with school spirit.

Back to Top

Along the Way...With P. Jay

There Oughta Be A Law!

Years ago there was an old cartoon that ran in the newspapers called "There Oughta Be A Law." A typical example might portray a harassed shoe salesman surrounded by boxes and boxes of shoes while trying to wait on a well-dressed lady. The lady is remarking haughtily, "Why didn’t you show me these shoes in the first place?" There is a little arrow pointing to the shoes that she is holding and a message attached to it reads, "The first shoes he showed her." Meanwhile, the salesman is thinking, "There oughta be a law."

I thought about that cartoon a couple of times last week. It came to mind when the Forest City Regional Board of Education agreed not to renew the contract of School Superintendent Bernice Lukus and again when the majority commissioners in Susquehanna County fired Economic Development Director Justin Taylor.

My friends, something happens to some people when they are successfully elected to political office. Individuals like Tom Baileys, new president of the Forest City Regional Board of Education, who may have to lease an 18-wheeler to haul around the chip on his shoulder.

At the meeting when the Board of Education voted not to renew Lukus’s contract, Baileys said the subject had been discussed at length during the board’s executive session on the issue. He said he saw no reason to discuss it any further at the public meeting and moved on to the next agenda item.

Whether you agree with the board’s action or not is irrelevant. But most certainly you must believe, as I do, that Baileys or some member of the board should have offered an explanation for her dismissal. Unfortunately, the other members of the board who supported the motion simply sat there relieved that they did not have to defend their action.

And so, while thousands of people elect school directors to represent their best interests on the Board of Education, these directors cast votes based upon their own individual beliefs without as much as a clue as to how their constituents feel about the issue at hand. Elected congressmen, state representatives, and even municipal officials often seek public input before they vote on an issue, but not the members of the Forest City Regional Board of Education. They are above all that protocol.

Bernice Lukus has been affiliated with education for 33 years as an educator and administrator. You don’t survive that many years in any profession unless you are doing something right. And when you leave a position after that many years, you certainly are entitled to leave with dignity and not with a dismissal masked by a cloak of secrecy.

Four members of the Board of Education who voted in favor of her dismissal were attending their first regular board meeting. One has to wonder how they could possibly have evaluated her performance as school superintendent. The feeling here is they didn’t. More than likely they relied on second-hand information spoon-fed to them by other board members.

There oughta be a law!

In Susquehanna County, Republican majority commissioners Roberta Kelly and Jeff Loomis also hid behind some sort of political sanctimony that allowed them to terminate Economic Development Director Justin Taylor without telling the public why they did it.

In response to a question from former commissioner Lee Smith, Loomis was quick to state that appointments made by the commissioners do not have to be discussed in public and followed that up with a rather abrupt, "We are not going to discuss it (Taylor’s dismissal) and that is all there is to it."

Kelly said she was not dissatisfied with Taylor’s work and then offered this gem: "Our ability is to come in here and make changes."


Two things surfaced during the commissioners’ first regular meeting of the Kelly Administration. One, Kelly and Loomis are going to do as they damn well please and nothing will stop them. (That is, not until their fourth year in office when they must campaign for reelection.) And, two, Jeff Loomis’s campaign theme that he is a changed man and will be more responsive this time around was nothing more than political rhetoric.

There oughta be a law!

Back to Top


HOW CAN HE Even Think Of It? – President Bush is talking about sending humans to the moon – and from there to Mars. How can he think of it? We are at war with several countries; we are up in the air with Medicare and Medicaid and they (Congress) are again thinking of "borrowing from Social Security," to which they already owe millions of dollars; millions are unemployed; terrorists all over the world; daily an Allied soldier is being killed or wounded. Mr. Bush, while we are fighting in Iraq, is also campaigning for the "next presidency." The cost of gasoline should be lowered to its former rate, not going up all the time. Has anything been done to alleviate the above? Not really. But we are looking forward to spending billions of dollars to fly to the moon, Mars and back. How many humans will we lose in the process? Enough, I dare say. It would be nice if our president would concentrate on the problems in the United States – now and then – and not make big waves about doing "this and that" during an election year. How long will our troops stay in Iraq and other places in the world? Must we patrol the entire world? That’s what President Bush should be concerned with. Prescription prices are, or will be the ruination of the elderly. Congress keeps talking about them – then that’s it. They stay the same – or higher. Sometimes I wonder if it does any good to write – or call – our representatives in regard to needs. When the gas "gouging" was going on (and still is) a few politicians came out against the increases. That was it. Never heard from them again. Why should they care? They get their increases every year, whether the economy is up or down. Not bad, to get about a $6,000 raise every year in office. Out of my last Social Security increase – after deductions – I am averaging nine dollars more a month. Wow, $108 a year. A couple of prescriptions cost that much.

WORLD WAR II Monument – As their ranks dwindle daily by more than 1,000, many of the aging men and women who bore the battle and performed critical services during World War II are wondering if they will be around to see the dedication of the national memorial to that catastrophic conflict next Memorial Day.

Construction of the memorial is said to be on schedule, with a series of 50 or more events timed to begin with the grand opening. These events will continue through the remainder of the spring and summer until Labor Day.

Memorial officials detailed the first four days of events marking the unveiling of Washington, DC’s newest monument May 27 to May 30. The festivities will include a musical salute by the armed forces at MCI Center, an interfaith memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral and a four-day reunion on the Mall for the World War II veterans.

AIRLINES Blame Bush – The United States airline industry has accused the Bush administration of recklessly driving up the cost of oil by purchasing unnecessarily large amounts of petrol for the nation’s strategic reserves at a time when prices are already high. The move upped the price of oil by $6 a barrel.

POOR PETE ROSE! I don’t feel sorry for him, one little bit. Did you see the photo on the sports page of the Binghamton paper, on January 5? Poor Pete, was he shedding tears admitting – after 13 years – "Yes, sir, I did bet on baseball." That should make it "all forgiven." No way!

He lied to top baseball officials, to the baseball players, and above all to the fans that paid his salary. Why do I object so to Rose being in the HOF? Well, let me tell you. He sure has the stats, as good or better than a lot of HOFs. But, my big gripe is the way he treats school children. I read, several years ago that he was charging fantastic fees for his autograph. One year at Cooperstown, he was in the booth along with other major leaguers signing autographs. One young boy came out with a bat. What did Rose charge?, I asked the boy. $40 he said. Did he give you a bat? Heck no, said the kid. The bat was mine. Another boy had (his own) ball autographed, $20.00. No doubt, Rose should in the HOF – but not Rose, the greedy one.

ROBERT (BOB) ROGERS, 62, of Binghamton, died unexpectedly January 3, at home. Bob was one of the premier bowlers of the Binghamton area. On several occasions he teamed with Susquehanna bowlers in Binghamton tourneys. Among his surviving relatives is his wife, Joan Carol; several children and a sister in Great Bend, Mrs. Jean Knifer. The Rogers family were residents of the community several years ago.

PETE CONFESSES, But Lied Again – Pete Rose’s contention he never bet on Red’s games from the clubhouse is being disputed by two of his bet runners. A former housemate of Rose, Tommy Gioiosa said Rose routinely placed bets from his office, which Rose denies. Like one sports writer ended his column, "He may belong in the Hall, but my vote is no."

WORTH REPEATING – In reading an article on the great golfer, Arnold Palmer, it was brought out that he has a plaque that tells why he has been successful on and off the golf course: If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you like to win but think you can’t, it’s almost certain you won’t. Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger woman or man, but sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.

WALKING IN THE city, a man was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking bum who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner. The man took out his wallet, extracted two dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you take it and buy whiskey?"

"No, I stopped drinking years ago," the bum said.

"Will you use it to gamble?"

"I don’t gamble. I need everything I can get just to stay alive."

"Will you spend the money on greens fees at a golf course?"

"Are you crazy? I haven’t played golf in 20 years!"

The man said, "Well, I’m not going to give you two dollars. Instead, I’m going to take you to my home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."

The bum was astounded. "Won’t your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I’m dirty, and I probably smell pretty bad."

"That’s OK," the man replied. "I just want her to see what a man looks like who has given up drinking, gambling and golf."

Back to Top

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