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Issue Home January 27, 2004 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

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

Slices of Life

A Little Cleaning

This has been a day of cleaning out – cupboards, drawers, closets, even letters and cards. "Out" should probably not be the operative word here because, even though lots of stuff came out of these areas, much also went back in.

I started in the kitchen early this morning. The kitchen chaos was the impetus for my mission. It seemed like I couldn’t find the lids for any of my dishes. I kept trying to put a plastic #10 lid on a #6 container. Yep, the numbers are actually stamped on the bottoms. The lid would almost fit, but not snap on. Finally, in frustration, I checked for identifying signs, and sure enough, I found those numbers.

Then my vintage Pyrex nesting dish sets were giving me the same problems. All square or rectangle glass dishes are not created equal. Finally I said, "This is ridiculous. I’m wasting too much time and frustration on finding things." So I took everything off the shelves and matched up parts that belonged together. Out came some dishes for the yard sale that I insisted I wasn’t going to have again this year. The spices and extracts got put in one place and, in so doing, I found I had three bottles of vanilla and two large full bottles of green food coloring. Also stuck in among the spices were several partially used bottles of outdated medications. It’s just amazing what one can unearth in an hour.

That off my mind, I headed upstairs to do the weekly vacuuming. But here I got lured into working at an ongoing project. I had moved everything out of one bedroom to put in a new floor. Consequently, all the stuff in the closet and what was strategically hidden under the bed had to be moved out. It had made it across the hall to another room.

Now it was time to pare it down and move it back or somewhere else, so I could get into what had become the holding room. This took much head-scratching and many trips to get this hidden again. I’m still not done with that job because I really don’t want to do the under-the-bed thing now that I have that beautiful cherry floor in there.

Hanging clothes in the closet was great fun because it meant taking half the clothes (which I never wear) out of my closet and putting them in the other one. Why do we insist on keeping these things we don’t wear? If it doesn’t fit right now, it probably never will. If I haven’t fixed it in five years, I probably never will. If it’s out of style, it’s out of style. Some things are classics, but most clothes do follow fashion to a certain degree. But regardless of the fact that I couldn’t throw them away, they now are out of sight/out of mind in the spare closet. And that’s a really good feeling.

With all those jobs started and at various degrees of done, I sat down late this afternoon to browse through some photos and put them in an empty album. I have these baskets of cards/photos sitting on the floor by my easy chairs, the couch, and any place I plop. So I started going through one basket, extricating the photos and getting them in the book. But then I started reading the messages written in the cards.

We've now reached the end of a productive day. I stopped long enough to prepare and eat dinner, watch Jeopardy and finish this story. But the rest of the evening belongs to those messages and the good thoughts they bring.

If you are one of the people who has written through the years, know that your sentiments have been read and re-read and probably will get thrown away only after I’m gone. Regardless how much winnowing out I do, some things are keepers.

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100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: A street car running from Forest City to Carbondale jumped the track Sunday night last at about 10:34 o'clock and plunged down the 12 ft. embankment between Forest City and Wilson Creek. Every one on the car, except the conductor, was injured and the car was badly wrecked. The injured are: Charles Gallovitz, motorman, of Carbondale, chest wrenched; James Merrit, bruised and sprained elbow; Homer Labar, of Forest City, chest lacerated and sprained ankle. Three or four others were also injured. All, excepting Labar, were taken to the Carbondale Hospital. AND: The German Catholics are planning to erect a church. Forest City will then have five Protestant and three Catholic churches.

FAIRDALE: The Ladies' Aid will meet at the church on Friday evening, Feb'y 5. Songs, recitation and some remarks on "Old Abe, the War Eagle of the 8th Wisconsin Regt." by Edgar Bolles.

SCRANTON/FRIENDSVILLE: A Scranton writer in the North American, dated January 17, says: "The congregation of St. Patrick's Catholic church was pleasantly surprised today when the assistant priest, the Rev. J. E. Lynott, announced that the congregation was free of debt. The parishioners, who believed they were owing $25,000, were unable to understand the announcement, until Father Lynott explained that the venerable pastor, the Rev. James B. Whelan, during his 21 years' pastorate, had never drawn a cent of salary, but instead, had quietly diverted it to the payment of pressing bills." Father Whelan is known by many in this county, having been born at Friendsville and lived there a number of years. His sister still resides in the old homestead at that place.

NEW MILFORD: High water again played havoc with us on Saturday. The rain on Friday broke up the ice in East creek above the center of the town and gorging at the Main street iron bridge threw great volumes of water over the retaining wall in the main street. About 4 o'clock in the morning the fire bell called the people out of their beds and at [that] time Main street was in an impassable state; great cakes of ice were carried and distributed along the street. Men worked at dynamiting the ice between the railroad bridge and the Main street bridge and not until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon did they succeed in relieving the congestion. When the water ceased flowing down the street the ice had ceased flowing down the street. The ice had to be removed before travel could be resumed; much damage and inconvenience resulted.

SUSQUEHANNA: An Oakland side company, one day of last week, started for Windsor to have a marriage ceremony performed, taking a local clergyman and a constable with them; when the State line was reached the bridegroom elect suddenly decamped, and is still at large. AND: A. Severson has succeeded Harry Holmes as rural route mail carrier. Mr. Holmes has removed to Herrick Centre.

FRANKLIN FORKS: No services at the Presbyterian church, for the present, owing to the high snow banks and bad roads.

LAWTON: Sheridan & Price, of Meshoppen, made a deal with a Philadelphia manufacturer whereby they came in possession of a large stock of men's, boy's and youths' clothing; all new and up-to-date, at a sacrifice price and will hold a special clothing sale at Kahler & Terry's store at Lawton, from Jan'y 27 to Feb'y 6. All people of the vicinity should avail themselves of this great opportunity.

UPSONVILLE: The heavy rains have settled the snow banks somewhat around here, yet no teams have yet gotten through from the Merriman Corners to the Stanley Stone farm; old inhabitants say the roads were never so filled with snow in many a year.

ELK LAKE: The Grange is in a flourishing condition, taking in new members at each meeting.

LYNN: A sleigh load from Springville passed here Saturday.

LENOX: The literary society connected with the Glenwood grange will give an entertainment in the Glenwood M. E. church on Friday evening of this week. They will be assisted by Mrs. E. M. Tiffany, soloist of Hopbottoom as well as by J. Gardner of South Gibson, with his graphaphone, so we feel sure no one will begrudge the price of admission, which is only 10 cents.

MONTROSE: We are informed that four new hands have been added to the force in the cut glass factory within the past few days, namely Charles Chilson of Elmira, Alex Law of Scranton, Joseph Miller of Philadelphia, and James Loftus of Scranton. Foreman H. E. Walton states that work is brisk here and that over 30 hands are now employed.

FOREST LAKE: Hugh Booth, of Nebraska, who went west nearly 25 years ago, is visiting relatives. The first time he has been back east.

HARFORD: Miss Ruth Mac Connell has secured a position as teacher in Wilkes-Barre and while there makes her home with her sister, Mrs. Paul Sherwood.

HALLSTEAD: The Democratic caucus was held in the firemen's hall Thursday evening and the following ticket nominated: Assessor, Henry Smith; Justice of the Peace, C. R. Eldred; Judge of Election, John Driscoll; Inspector of Election, Carl Tingley; Auditor for three years, Chas. Austin; Auditor of two years, W. H. McLeod; Council, P. H. Allen, Thomas Haggerty; School Directors, T. J. Conner, B. R. Tanner, Poormaster for two years, G. W. Capwell.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: Andrew Rogers, who has been ill for several weeks, died Saturday, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Walter Ely. The funeral services were held Monday at 11 a.m. and were attended by a large number of mourning friends and relatives. Mr. Rogers, who was past 80 years of age had spent nearly all his life in Brooklyn, and was held in high esteem by his neighbors. He is survived by a widow and three children: Will Rogers and Mrs. Fanny Lindsey, of Factoryville; and Mrs. Lillie Ely and a brother, Christopher, of Brooklyn.

NEWS BRIEF: A report by Jasper T. Jennings in the Independent Republican, Montrose. "The Winter of 1903-04 will go down in history as a very remarkable one for the latitude. We know people are very likely to say, when we have an unusual cold snap, that it is the coldest weather they ever saw. They say they never experienced anything like it; when the facts are if they would only take the trouble to look up the records, they have, in most instances seen just as bad, perhaps many times before. But this winter is really an exceptional one. The ground froze suddenly on the night of the 14th of November and up to this time, Jan. 19, there has been but two or three days that the thermometer has registered above the freezing point in the shade. A heavy fall of snow took place on the 12th of December and although it rained twice before Christmas, once slightly and once considerable, there has been but very few days from the time of the first fall of snow to the present date that snow has not fallen."

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Straight From Starrucca

Help! The ladies who make the quilts for the homeless are asking for more help. The quilts are needed so badly this time of year that to slow down the making of them would be disastrous. If you can help one or two days a week, Tuesday or Thursday, please call Marie Swartz at 727–2802 and she will give you the details.

Thelma Sampson Washburn, age 93, sister of Raymond Sampson, former residents of Starrucca, passed away Tuesday, January 13 at Wilson Hospital in Binghamton after suffering a stroke at the home of Bob and Helen Carpenter, who were celebrating Russian Christmas with their extended family. Services were held at Hennessey’s, with Rev. Bitler officiating. She was buried beside her husband, Leo Washburn in the Thompson Cemetery. My sympathy is extended to the family. Thelma was usually here on Memorial Day, Sampson reunion and class reunions, coming from Mechanicsburg, PA. She was always interesting to talk to, always vibrant, living life to the fullest. We shall miss her, but heaven’s gate has opened for her and we should rejoice.

The seniors’ meeting from a week ago last Wednesday was canceled because of a malfunctioning furnace. The next meeting will be on January 28 at noon at the Baptist social rooms.

Nelson and Phyllis Dickey, Little Falls, NY, and granddaughter, Rebecca visited me over the weekend of 10th and 11th. Son Dan, Harpursville, came down last Saturday afternoon for a visit. Happy to have them whenever they can come.

Early in December, Harrison Piercy passed his first Black Belt test in Tae Kwon Do. He has been studying TKD for nearly three years. His family is very proud of him.

At Christmas, the Piercys celebrated with relatives arriving from New Jersey, Connecticut and Watertown, NY. Sleeping and feeding 14 for a few days was easy; the difficult part was living together in the house with six dogs. Five of the dogs were small but Sampson, the sixth, was a 100-pound German shepherd visiting from New Jersey with Uncle Joe. Grandma started to call this the "Doggie Christmas."

Danielle Williams and Caitlin Piercy performed with an Honors Band at Marywood University January 10. They were chosen and invited to play with 170 other musicians. Both the Williams and Piercy families traveled to listen to the girls’ performance.

Both families traveled again, this time to Binghamton where Danielle Williams and Caitlin and Natalie Piercy performed their Junior Youth Symphony Orchestra concert Sunday, the 18th. What a sound came from these young musicians, ranging in age from fourth grade to ninth grade. Next concert will be May 23.

And that, my friends is the news from Starrucca on this blustery, snowy, windy, very cold day, January 22, 2004.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Treatment Center Doing The Job

Ever heard of the Bethesda Day Treatment Center? Neither did I until the good folks at the Susquehanna County Probation Department co-sponsored an educational program with Bethesda’s South Montrose Center. My first contact with the center was Mark Kurosky, program manager at South Montrose. Wow! Talk about an enthusiastic and dedicated employee.

I asked Mark for some background information on Bethesda Day Treatment Centers which are located in various municipalities in the Commonwealth. He spoke like a father bragging about his children. And he spoke in volumes citing achievements in rehabilitating disruptive boys and girls with an assortment of wrongdoings in their files. I am a pretty fair typist but I just could not keep up with this energetic young man who heaped praises on everyone associated with Bethesda from upper management to classroom teachers. So I asked him to fax me some information and he did – 13 pages of it.

Don’t misunderstand me. This guy was proud of his employer and his position with the corporation. He has every right to be. Sandwiched in between other information he faxed me was a list of achievements earned by this 20-year-old firm whose motto is, "healing hearts and changing lives." A total of 11 state and national honors have been given to Bethesda Day Treatment Centers.

Space will not permit me to mention all of them but I will cite a couple. The corporation received "national model status" from the US Department of Justice; recognition for Outstanding Service to Youth and Community from the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission; received the Gould Wysinger Award for exceptional achievements in advancing juvenile justice at the local level; and, in 1995, was named, Best Community-Based Program in the State of Pennsylvania.

Bethesda Day Treatment Center is best described as "a non-profit agency established to provide intensive intervention in the community for troubled youth and court-referred juveniles with a high risk of a life of failure." Its mission is to help troubled youth who are unable to function in society. This, according to a corporate brochure, is accomplished by providing a comprehensive individual and family centered, values oriented, treatment program that prepares these troubled youth for reentry into mainstream society.

Services offered by Bethesda include After School Evening Day Treatment, Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth, Outpatient drug and alcohol counseling, specialized foster care and residential care.

When the South Montrose Center opened a year ago, it averaged 25 students a day. This year, the amount has grown to 35 a day and some students were turned down. The center is planning an expansion program to accommodate more students in the future.

The students range in age from 12 to 17. Whenever possible, the number of students per classroom is held to five. Five of the six school districts in Susquehanna County send students to the center as well as the Tunkhannock and Lackawanna Trail school districts. Forest City Regional sends their students who might attend classes at the center to the Bethesda Center in Honesdale.

The sending school districts pay a share of the expenses involved in running the center. There are also appropriations from the county Probation Department and Children and Youth Services. And, yes, the teachers are state certified.

"We get students that have typical juvenile violations," Kurosky said. "Some kids are referred to us who do not have the ability to do school work or homework or they may not get along with other students. Some are sent here only because of truancy or behavioral problems."

Oh, yes, lest we forget. The program, co-sponsored by the center and the Probation Department with the cooperation of the county jail, included a talk to the students from an inmate who detailed what life is like behind bars and as a drug addict. Speaking frequently through trembling lips and pausing to fight back tears, he painted a dismal portrait of the disappointing world of life on the streets. The students listened almost in disbelief but they knew by his emotions that what he was telling him was not fictitious. The program also included a tour of the county jail.

Congratulations to all who participated in the program and to Bethesda Day Treatment Center for an excellent curriculum of classes that takes the young and confused and recycles them into worthwhile human beings with prospects of bright futures.

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DeWITT "Wins Honors" – Nicholas DeWitt, a Susquehanna High School graduate is (along with two other students) a recipient of the 2003-04 scholarships presented by the Penn State Chapter of Greater Binghamton. The scholarships are awarded annually to Penn State students living in the Greater Binghamton and Susquehanna County areas and are supported by more than 2000 Penn State alumni families in these areas. (Nicholas is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald DeWitt, Susquehanna.)

DOES GEORGE S. "have a headache?" – It could very well be, according to recent happenings. First he loses Andy Pettitte, then Dave Wells, now Roger Clemens decides to come out of retirement (who wouldn’t for 5 million) to join Andy with the Houston Astros. No doubt Pettitte and Clemens will "fill the seats" at Houston. (Does Torre have his hands full?)

MORE AGAINST "New" Medicare – Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has criticized President Bush’s Medicare overhaul, saying it is nothing more than a handout to prescription drug companies. "Instead of using Medicare’s enormous bargaining power to get the best discounts for our seniors," he said, "American taxpayers and seniors will be forced to foot the bill for greater drug company profits."

DO YOU KNOW Your Police? – At the Susky Council, January 5 meeting Mayor Hurley and the Council passed a resolution to create positions of chief of police and lieutenant, for a one-year probation. The young men are Chief Tom Golka and Lieutenant John Record. Both positions are part-time.

THREE RESERVISTS "Being Railroaded" – Have been reading in city papers of Northeastern PA, where three area Army reservists – Lisa Girman of Pittston, Scott McKenzie of Clearfield and Tim Canjar, have been found guilty of abusing Iraq prisoners and have been discharged. The trio claims they were following orders, right to "the letter" and are not guilty. They claim that the United States is trying to pacify the Iraq government. How can any Iraq POW be mistreated? The way they are killing our men and women, every day. Right now, the Iraq prisoners are in the safest place in the world. Here we have three reservists protecting our country and they are being made an example by our own government. Strange, isn’t it – that our generals believe everything they were told by the Iraq POWs and did not – did not want to – believe our own reservists.

MONTROSE SNEE "a pro" – Chris Snee, an all around athlete at Montrose High School, now playing football with Boston College as one of its best offensive guards, will forsake his senior year to enter the pro draft. Not too bad for a young gridder from Susquehanna County. Hope he makes it!

JACKSON "CIRCUS" In California – It was circus day in Santa Maria, Calif., on January 16, as M. Jackson was preparing to enter the courtroom for his hearing. After his "No guilty" plea, the circus came outside for his admirers to see. What I can’t understand is why Santa Maria had to give M. police protection? With all of his bodyguards present, why should Santa Maria taxpayers pay for Ms protection? Mr. M. acts like he’s the salvation of the world. His big 2 fingers salute is like, "I’m the Best." If I was the judge in the case, I would have given Mr. M. a day in jail for each minute he was late. The court – more or less – let him dictate when he should appear. Sure, he was reprimanded with a slap on the wrist – with his gloves on. Why should he be treated any better – or worse – than any other person?

BOWLING HIGHLITES – Charles (Chuck) Beamer, secretary of the John Baumann Monday night league, on December 30, 2003, bowled a 300 game, but did it in another League, the Mike Tarbox league. Chuck’s games were 300, 248 and 258 for a swelegant total, 806. Chuck’s previous high three games was 802. This was Beamer’s ninth 300 game. Also, on December 23, 2003, Carrie Towner, also of the Tarbox League bowled a 298 game for a three-game total of 636. The 298 is believed to be the second highest single at Riverside. (Congrats, to both.)

GIRL BOWLS 784 – Taylor Swartz of Windsor shot a personal-best and league-best 784 series in the Sunset Majors mixed junior bowling league to up her average by three pins to 210. Swartz, 14, shot games of 246, 268, 270 on Saturday at Sunset Lanes in Kirkwood, where her grandmother, Lucy, is the longtime general manager. It’s one of the best scores ever shot by a female youth bowler, according to Larry Medovich, secretary of the Southern Tier Youth Bowling Association. Swartz had no open frames, and closed her final game with nine consecutive strikes. She had 28 strikes in three games. She also carries a 211 average for Windsor’s varsity team. (NOTE: Lucy Swartz, Taylor’s grandmother, is well known to area bowlers.)


A WOMAN WAS WORRIED whether or not her dead husband made it to heaven. She decided to try to contact his spirit by having a seance. Sure enough, she got to talk to her husband. Hello, Margaret, this is me, Fred. Fred are you happy? What’s it like there? It’s beautiful here. The sky is bluer, the air is cleaner, and the pastures are much more lush and green. All we do is eat all day, make love and eat, make love and eat, over and over. Thank God, the wife said, you made it to heaven. Heaven? Fred answered, what heaven? I’m a buffalo in Montana.

THE WEALTHY ELDERLY lady asked her church pastor if her dead dog could be buried in the church’s cemetery with a religious service. I’m sorry, the pastor said, we Catholics don’t perform religious burial services for dogs. Too bad, the lady said, I was prepared to offer $10,000 for such a ceremony in the dog’s name. Wait a minutes, the pastor said, "you didn’t tell me the dog was Catholic."

WOMAN TO NEWSPAPER editor – I want to run an obituary. My husband died of a shotgun wound. That’s terrible. When did it happen? Just as soon as I catch him.

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