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Issue Home March 2, 2004 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago

Straight From Starrucca
Along the Way...With P. Jay
An Inside Look

Slices of Life

Saying Goodbye To The Girls

Inanimate objects that pass my way have a tendency to become real in my mind, and are therefore very hard to discard. That can include stuffed animals, plastic or pottery figures and especially dolls. It is the latter that is now causing me severe guilt.

In a moment of weakness I bought a garbage bag full of baby dolls at a second-hand shop. My intent was to take them home, wash the dolls and their clothing, fix their hair, buy missing accessories and, in general, make them beautiful again. Then they would be sold at a minimal price at the Christmas Department Store so some little girl would wake up on Christmas morning to a "new" doll.

Because I talk too much and explained to the salesperson what I had in mind, she said, "Oh, take another bag for free."

I was a little apprehensive about putting that many dolls back in mint condition, but I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, so I thanked her and walked out with two big bags of dolls.

They sat around my house for a few months, getting moved from room to room, as I excitedly explained to anyone who came along what I was going to do. In November, I finally got started working on them.

What I was soon to discover was that the dolls cleaned up nicely, their clothes looked very acceptable when washed, starched and ironed, but their hair was a different story. That fake hair, once pulled out of is original shape, had a mind of its own and was not to be contained unless it was long enough to braid into pigtails with colorful ribbons on the ends.

The other thing I discovered was that most of these dolls had some special function. One was The Little Mermaid and she needed a special battery that would make her swim like a fish. Several had once had bottles so their owner could feed them, and then they would wet. There were others who needed even more specialized accessories, and without them, in this age of well-advertised action figures, these dolls would be worthless to a young, TV-watching recipient. They all needed shoes, which I discovered would cost far more than my week’s allowance.

So for starters, I fixed up three dolls, making them look almost like new. In my eyes, they were beautiful. I really hated to part with them, but finally forced myself to hand them over to the toy department workers. At very nominal prices, none sold. So that told me that my great idea was not as great as I thought. That left me with nearly two whole bags of dolls with which I had to do something.

They have kicked around my house for months now; sometimes in the dining room, sometimes on the back porch. I feel bad because they aren’t dressed and I’m sure they are cold. I apologize to them frequently for not giving them better care.

Finally, while topping off a bag headed for garbage pick-up I parted with two of the girls. I nearly cried when I shoved them in the bag, but I admonished myself that they were not real and I couldn’t have them cluttering up my house forever. In time more will probably suffer the same fate, but for someone who talks to teddy bears and covers them with the afghan before heading for bed, I know getting rid of these babies will continue to be a wrenching experience.

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100 Years Ago

SUSQUEHANNA: Of the $10,000 paid annually by the Erie Railroad company to this state, in lieu of taxation, Susquehanna county receives $7,862.90.

RUSH: Among the recent curiosities shown us was one by N. R. Jones. It is a power of attorney directed to Henry Jones by his son, Andrew Jones, dated at or near Middletown, Virginia, Oct. 17, 1864 and empowers the former to vote for him in the town of Marcellus, Onondaga county, N.Y. It was customary during the Civil War to issue such powers of attorney, a fact which will undoubtedly interest the present generation. Mr. N. R. Jones, who is a brother of Andrew H. Jones, also has in his possession the musket carried by his brother.

MONTROSE: A letter was received from Charles Warner, son of Edson Warner. Charles is located at Johannesburg, South Africa and is employed in the cyanide department of the Bonanza Mines, of which Ruel Warriner, son of Rev. E. A. Warriner, is General Manager. We gave notice of the departure from Washington of Mr. Warner nearly a year ago. He sailed and sailed, "crossed the line," "rounded the horn" and finally after a rough passage arrived at Delegoa Bay. From that point he went to Johannesburg. AND: H. W. Beach has a new automobile, the largest one yet brought to Montrose.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: The L & M morning train left Montrose at the usual hour on Tuesday. It met with some resistance from the beautiful snow near Harrington's Mills, but at about 8:30 puffed up the hill until Babcock's Woods were reached. There it decided to stop as the engine and baggage car left the track. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to proceed, the engine, which had been placed on the track, proceeded to Tiffany and the train was finally brought back to Montrose. Over 200 men shoveled the sugar-like snow to clear the way. A train came from Alford but failed to connect with its stranded neighbor. Many passengers including Mrs. H. W. McCartney, Mrs. W. H. Miller and Mr. and Mrs. Shepard Ayars, of Wilkes-Barre, Messrs. Norman Stewart, Wm. S. Mulford, of Scranton and Ex Sheriff W. J. Maxey were among those on the train that did not go. Squire Tiffany opened his comfortable home for all who cared to enjoy his hospitality.

SOUTH GIBSON: The tolling of the church bell on Tuesday morning announced the death of Mrs. T. Wescott, who died at the home of her son, Jerry, in Forest City on Sunday evening; funeral held from [the] Methodist church in this place on Wednesday.

UNIONDALE: Bronson & Westgate have shipped 13,000 tons of ice. AND: The Herrick Elgin Butter company of Uniondale elected the following officers: trustee, A. A. Tingley; secretary, J. L. Jones; treasurer, Arthur Williams; auditors, J. Tonkins, A. Odgen. The company has secured the services of A. A. McCredie, of West Davenport, N.Y.

SOUTH MONTROSE: Percy Ballentine has purchased a new Peerless automobile, costing $6000.

NEW MILFORD: Bert Howell left for New York, Tuesday, where he has secured employment on the elevated railroad; Bert was one of the leading and most enthusiastic members of the cornet band and that organization will feel his loss. AND: A correspondent says the New Milford tannery is about to stop work which will throw about 30 men out of employment.

EAST LENOX: News has been received from A. J. Archibald, saying that he arrived safely at the home of his sister, at Big Foot Prairie, Ill.

SILVER LAKE: Mr. Gillooley, while helping on his son's barn, fell through a trap door last Saturday, and was seriously injured. Dr. Gardner was called and Mr. Gillooley removed to his home near Quaker Lake, and at last reports was said to be comfortable.

BROOKLYN: F. B. Jewett has been dangerously ill, with erysipelas in the head, the past week.

FLYNN: Mr. and Mrs. John Curley are rejoicing over the arrival of a daughter.

BROOKDALE: A sleigh load of Brookdale people spent Saturday eve. at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pope in Kirkwood. A first-class supper was much enjoyed by all. Mr. and Mrs. Pope are first-class entertainers.

GLENWOOD: A surprise party in honor of Claude and Clyde Hardy was tendered them on Saturday evening, their 17th anniversary. It was a surprise to the boys, truly, and a very sociable evening was spent at the old homestead. Music and singing was enjoyed by all. Refreshments were served by the host and hostess. All returned home feeling it was good to be there. The presents were useful and ornamental. Those present were: Mr. & Mrs. Gardner, South Gibson, Mrs. Frank Smith, Miss Maude Burklin, Miss Grace Morey, Maude Medler, Jean Tourge, Beatrice Hopper, Verna Bell, Mabel Jeffries, Walter Hopper, Guy Ritter, Rob McDonald, Arthur Hopper, Earl Tourge, Harry Hardy. AND: Roy Wilson has been doctoring a sick horse for the past few days. Mr. Wilson seems to have bad luck. But a short time ago he lost a valuable horse and now with one sick it breaks up his team and leaves him in bad shape to do his work.

NORTH JACKSON: The sale of the personal property of the late E. R. Barrett was largely attended at the farm here Friday. Cows sold for about $30 each and the fine gray horses were purchased by James Paye, of Susquehanna.

FOREST LAKE: Bruce Griffis is going to commence running a general store at the old Stone stand, Forest Lake, on April 1st.

NEWS BRIEFS: When you get a catalogue from a big mail order house, just look it over and see what they will pay you for your produce, also investigate and see what their terms of credit are in case you do not have the ready cash; how much they will give towards the keeping up of the sidewalks; just write them and ask how much they will give towards the erection of a church or how much they will give to assist the poor. After you have done this and received a reply, see if your home merchant won't do as well. AND: This is a poor time to buy maps of the world. The accurate map of to-day may be all wrong before the year is ended. AND: March came in like a lion, served with sugar-snow when cold. Let us hope for a lamb-like departure; but come to think of it we have seen some lambs that were quite frisky after all.

CORRECTION: Aunt Eleanor Platt is an aunt, and not a cousin, of our townsman, D. D. Lathrop, as stated in the Vestal Centre items in our last issue.

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Straight From Starrucca

Although Paul Zipprich has been our postmaster for almost five years, some of us have got to know him quite well and other, especially on the route don’t know much about him. One thing I’ve learned is how to spell his name correctly.

Paul was born in Beekman, NY, the son of Edgar and Diane Zipprich, on June 26, 1970. One sister preceded him in birth and the other one, after his birth. His early schooling was in the Titusville and he graduated from Arlington High School in LaGrange, NY. While in high school his extra curricular were swimming and rowing. After high school he pursued studies at the University of Scranton, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.

One of his first jobs was selling services for "Photography for Kids at Heart." Example, school photographs. He then secured a job at Franklin First Savings Bank in Old Forge, PA, acting as teller. While employed by the bank, he took an entrance exam for the Postal Service and subsequently was hired as a clerk and city carrier for the town of Jessup, PA, where he worked for four and a half years. In February, 1999 he had an interview with the Postal Service, lucked out and became postmaster in Starrucca, PA, starting in May, 1999.

May, 1998 he married Bonnie Duffield, a girl whom he met at the University of Scranton. Her parents live in Wyalusing, PA. Paul and Bonnie have one daughter and in May will be joined by a baby sister or brother. His hobbies are raising horses and woodworking. The family lives in Hop Bottom, PA.

Vacations take them to Florida, Texas, and Acadia National Park in Maine. Paul has been in Germany, Austria and Ireland and quite a few of the states.

Like the old-time rural Post Offices where patrons read the signs on the window, pass around the news and chat awhile with the postmaster, which is easy to do because he is so affable, capable, and a very accommodating young man. Hope the Postal Service keeps you a long time.

Marie Swartz attended the Blue and Gold banquet for Boy Scout Troop 81, held at the Thompson Methodist Church, Sunday night, February 22. Entertainment was furnished by the handler of the Nay Aug Park and Zoo in Scranton, who brought animals to show the audience.

Shannon Martin welcomed guests to her son, Zachery’s first birthday party, held at the Baptist Church social rooms Sunday afternoon, February 22.

Hope the sun stays out long and often to melt the ice. Still have to be careful, even going just a few feet to the garage.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Twice Upon A Time

In case you missed it, last week John P. Kameen, a member of the Board of Directors of the Susquehanna County Economic Development Department, penned a letter to the editor of the Transcript alleging that this column is based upon fantasies.

Mr. Kameen’s letter:

"Just Another Fantasy

"I wish to correct a false statement made in Mr. Amadio’s opinion column last week. The statement that the board members of the Susquehanna County Economic Development Board said it was OK for the commissioners to fire Justin Taylor could not be further from the truth.

"Since Mr. Amadio did not talk to any Board member about this matter, it becomes just another fantasy. He has no basis upon which to make this opinion.


"John P. Kameen

"SCED Board Member"

Really! Mr. Kameen was not at the commissioners’ meeting the day they officially released Mr. Taylor. In fact, at that meeting, not one member of the EDD Board of Directors came to Mr. Taylor’s defense and before it happened, not one member publicly spoke out in support of him.

At the commissioners’ meeting of January 15, 2004 (yes, it was on a Thursday) when Justin Taylor was officially terminated, former commissioner, Lee Smith, told the new commissioners that the Economic Development Department’s Board of Directors is comprised of some outstanding volunteers who helped to get the department started. He asked if the EDD board members were in agreement with dismissing Mr. Taylor.

The following responses to Mr. Smith’s question are taken verbatim from the public meeting which almost everyone knows I tape. Roberta Kelly: "We are elected officials and we have to make decisions. We made a decision here."

Jeffrey Loomis: "You were a commissioner, Lee. You know that appointments do not have to be discussed in public."

Mary Ann Warren prefaced her remark by stating that she talked to members of the Economic Development Board and, "they disagreed (with Taylor’s dismissal) and then finally agreed to go along with it. Why I do not know."

Jeffrey Loomis: "We are not going to discuss it and that’s all there is to it."

Concerning what I wrote, Mr. Kameen labeled it "just another fantasy" and he concludes by stating that I had "no basis upon which to make this opinion."

What appeared in my column concerning the EDD Board of Directors was not opinion and certainly not fantasy. It was a fact based upon the remarks made at a public meeting by a county commissioner who, incidentally, voted against Mr. Taylor’s dismissal.

Mrs. Warren said board members disagreed then finally agreed to go along with Mr. Taylor’s dismissal. This writer said the board caved in and said it was OK to fire Mr. Taylor. The end result is the same. Mr. Taylor is gone and he did not resign.

Mr. Kameen may not have appreciated my selection of words, but to say that nothing could be further from the truth appears more like a challenge to Mrs. Warren’s credibility. In fact, one could conclude that he is implying Mrs. Warren lied.

A week or so later, Mr. Kameen wrote a letter to the Forest City Borough Council alleging that I wrote an article based upon the happenings at an executive session of council. Wrong again!

The article in the February 11 edition of The Transcript was a report of an open discussion at a public meeting of the Borough Council held February 2. Mr. Kameen was not at that meeting either. Only one sentence in the lengthy article made reference to the council’s executive session, which, incidentally, was devoted to personnel matters.

Mr. Kameen challenges the authenticity of this writer and the credibility of a county commissioner on the strength of two meetings he didn’t even attend.

Hmmmm! Doesn’t it make you wonder just who is fantasizing?

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WORLD WAR TWO Veterans – Listen up! If you haven’t called the toll-free phone number to place your name on National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC you had better do it in a hurry – before it’s too late. The number to call is (free) 1-800-639-4992. Listen to the menu, then dial three (3). I called my name in. It was easy. They ask your name, your address, where you served, what rank attained, your phone number and if you received any medals. It’s free. Get your name on the Memorial. Tell your friends who served in WW2. The Memorial Committee wants all the names they can get, be one of them!

YANKEE HATERS! – Ever since George acquired A-Rod, I dare not wear my Yankee cap. With George’s bankroll, the Yankees can now be called the "Bronx Billionaires." Personally I do not believe they needed a player of A-Rod’s ability. I believe – since the loss of Wells and Pettitte – they need pitching. As in any baseball game, pitching dominates – most of the time. Sure hitting is vital, but without good pitching, you’re not going to get too far. Some day the "Baseball Bank" will come apart, with these escalating salaries. The worst part is that the owners with the most money will always come out on top, with the lower salaried teams mired in the bottom of their league. Why isn’t there a "cap" on salaries? It’s not fair (not too much is) that Ivan Rodriguez left the Florida Marlin champs for last place Detroit. Does (did) he care about the glory in winning a World Series? Evidently not. Money talks, so he signed with a team destined for last place. The money: $40 million. The Marlins made him a star catcher, so he showed his colors by going elsewhere. But – if "caps" could be worked out in the right way – more players could not jump elsewhere, and the millionaire owners could not outbid all of the money-strapped owners. Was there a movie about baseball? – "For the Love of It." The love of what? The money!

A WORLD SERIES At Any Cost – So George S. went after – and got – one of the best players in the majors. It cost him an extra few bucks, but what the heck, George has it. Will the acquisition of Alex Rodriguez bring GS another pennant and World Series title? Not really so. They lost three of their best pitchers – Pettitte, Clemens and Wells. Two of three are lefties. To date, the Yanks have no left handers. No way do I believe they can survive without a couple of lefties. But some way or other they always manage to be near the top, and with a couple left handers will be hard to beat.

HELP NEEDED – I have a large photo of the Laurel Hill Academy basketball team of 1967-1968 (property of Joan Hurley). The team was coached by the late Jim Hurley, with Matt Simonetti serving as team manager. Will appreciate any information in regard to the team’s stats for that year. The photo is being displayed in the Lawrenson Barber Shop, Westfall Avenue, Oakland Side. (My phone is 853–3835.)

COMMISSION Stops Vets Closing – A federal commission rejected a Bush administration proposal to close down a 70-year old veterans hospital in Canandaigua, NY, a 50-bed center, transferring them to Buffalo and Syracuse. Sen. Hilary Clinton is against the closing of the hospital.

MORE WEAPONS NEWS – A classified US Intelligence study, done three months before the war in Iraq reported that nowhere were weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq. (How could we be so sure prior to the war that we would find weapons of mass destruction? If Saddam had ‘em, he would of used them, don’t you think?)

CBS PULLS AD – CBS has stopped running the Bush administration publicity funded ad for the new Medicare prescription drug law, pending a review of its contents by congressional investigators. It seems the words in the bill "more benefits, more this, more that" are upsetting not only the Democrats, but also several Republicans.

DO YOU Remember 1953 – When prices were in "our favor?" Read ‘em and weep: postcards 2¢; first class stamp 3¢; airmail stamp 7¢; bread, loaf 16¢; (I like this one) gas, gallon 29¢; minimum wage hour 75¢; eggs, doz. 75¢; refrigerator $200.00; Chevrolet car business coupe $3,498; average income $4,706 a year; houses, for sale, $17,400.

I CAN’T Believe This One – Kobe Bryant, Lakers basketball player, who is being held for rape, has announced that he would like to play for another team next season. (Am I missing something!) Or, does Kobe already believe that he will be found not guilty. It seems that way.

HOW LUCKY Can We Get? – President George has declared that making his tax cut permanent is one of the best ways to bring jobs into Pennsylvania. (Is this an election year, or isn’t it?)

A GOOD LESSON – An angry wife was complaining about her husband spending all his time at the local pub, so one night he took her along.

"What’ll you have to drink?" the husband asked.

"Oh, I don’t know. I guess the same thing as you," the wife replied.

The husband ordered a couple of Jack Daniel’s and threw his down in one go.

The wife took a sip from her glass and immediately spit it out and yelled, "Yuck! How can you drink that stuff?"

"Well, there you go," cried the husband. "And you thought I’m out enjoying myself every night!"

A BIG BLAST – A tough old Montana cowboy once told his grandson that, if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a little gunpowder on his oatmeal every morning.

The grandson did this religiously, and he lived to the age 0f 93. When he died he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren... and a 15-foot hole in the wall of the crematorium.

STEP DOWN – Heard aboard a public-transportation vehicle: "When you exit the bus, please be sure to lower your head and watch your step. If you miss your step and hit your head, please lower your voice and watch your language. Thank you."

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An Inside Look

Well, half a year has now gone by of my junior year. After all this time that I’ve been waiting to say that I only have a year and half more to go of high school, I can now officially say I’m scared. With the pressure building for my college choice, I can’t help but begin to doubt and worry. Will I get accepted to the college of my choice? How much will it cost? And most important, where do I want to go?

I’ve always said I wanted to go to California, and get away from this country setting. But now, as the time closes in, I think I am going to miss the simplicity of life around here. And come on, what other school than Elk Lake gets a day off for "Dairy Day?" However, I have to graduate, and I have to move on to college. A year and a half may seem like a long way away, but in reality, time is flying by.

I personally don’t know where to start looking. I know that I want to go to a good school, but other than that, I’m short on ideas. I don’t even have a specific location picked out yet. What’s more is that I know I’m not alone with this. There are plenty of high school kids in our area, and other places as well, that are going through these very same doubts. The aspect of being on my own, while exhilarating, is also one of the scariest I’ve ever imagined.

Everything in our junior year seems to be based on college: the AP courses, the SAT’s, the GPA’s, and all the seminars and tours going on in the local colleges specifically designed for us. But where does one start? I wish there was someone out there who could tell me exactly what to expect at college, what they’ll expect of me, and what’s going to happen while I’m there. This idea, however, is basically impossible.

I want to do so much. I want to play softball while at college. I want to start taking courses at least by my senior year. But more than anything, I want to know where I want to go, what I want to do. So many decisions are becoming needed, and the fact that these decisions, made at the young ages of 16 and 17, will shape the rest of my life is kind of nauseating.

My advice to anyone reading this is to help out anyone around you who might even be remotely feeling this way. Our high school career is coming to a close; what we’ve grown up around and know so well is almost gone. Although panic hasn’t officially set in, I know worries have been running through my head like crazy, and I know I’m not the only one. College is a big step, and if you care about someone going through these decisions, help them out, push them in the right direction. Their life depends on it.

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