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In The September 29th Issue Of The County Transcript

Issue Home September 21, 2004 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the DA

Slices of Life

Getting To Know You

I think that one of the most common complaints of getting older is forgetting names. Meeting someone in the grocery store whom you have known for years and not being able to say their name. Running into a friend at a party and not being able to introduce them to your mate or date, because the name evades you.

There is a scientific explanation for this and I’ve read about it, but it doesn’t make the moment any less embarrassing.

Then there are those words that are evasive. You start a sentence, and there’s a perfect word to make your point, but it is lost somewhere in netherland, so you rearrange the whole structure using other words that aren’t nearly as effective and end up with this awkward sentence. We hear that old cliché, "we aren’t getting older, we’re getting better." Yeah – tell me about it.

The name thing is on my mind because I’m starting a new job tomorrow where I have to immediately learn the names of about twenty volunteer choristers. Then I branch out into learning the names of a new congregation. It should be interesting. So far I’ve got the minister and his wife pegged, but that could slip away at any moment. Then I’ve made myself a list of names and areas of specialty, like the organist, secretary and music librarian. I also made sure I know the treasurer who will write my check. Haven’t met the custodian yet. Custodians are always important people to know because many things need moved, repaired, cleaned, etc. I haven’t even started trying to learn the choir members’ names yet. I’m going to hand out name tags and big black markers. First names only for the moment.

One would think that we would be the ones who would be insulted if someone didn’t know our names. Not me. I’m just always relieved that it is they, not me, who is struggling. Besides, I never did like my first name. But I did enjoy the story of how I got it.

When I was born, the plan was to name me Theresa after my Dad’s mother. I’m not sure how we got down to the third girl before I was to be the namesake. That was in the era of ten days in the hospital after a delivery, most of them flat in bed. So by the time Grandma got to see me Mom was probably pretty well rested, as well as bored and irritated at being kept down.

Grandma arrived dressed to the nines in a black suit and, when presented with me in a bundle of flannel, she held me at arms length so I wouldn’t get lint (or worse) on her clothes. Or that’s what my mother thought, anyway. I immediately got named after Shirley Temple who was all the rage then.

So you see, I’m really not meant to be a Shirley. That was just an accident. I think that’s why other people have trouble calling me by that name. I get things like Shirl, Shirlo, Shotgun, Kiddo, Kid----.

When I was young it was Skinny. I sure outgrew that one! When I’m done with my first rehearsal, I probably won’t even know who I am. But change is what keeps life exciting, and I’m on my way, new names and all.

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100 Years Ago

HARFORD: We once again have a harness shop in our town, George Tiffany having opened one in the Osborn building.

SUSQUEHANNA: The entire force of 150 union boilermakers, employed in the Erie shops, were locked out on Tuesday morning. There had been no trouble at the shop and this action was unexpected. As they arrived for work each man was met at the door and dismissed and paid off at 8'clock. While no explanation was made by the shop officials, it is understood to be the first step in an "open shop" policy that the Erie is trying to force.

BROOKLYN: Building an addition to the High School and engaging an extra teacher is strongly talked. The lower rooms are crowded.

UPSONVILLE: Three suspicious looking persons were seen on our streets with not a first-class team and market wagon on Tuesday evening. The same night about 10 bushels of potatoes were dug from the field of E.J. Lindsey, and some hens from G. H. Brownson's hennery.

STRICKLAND HILL, Springville Twp.: Burton H. Shoemaker and wife, of Lincoln, Neb., have been visiting his brother O.T. Shoemaker and other friends here. Mr. Shoemaker and family went to Nebraska some 41 years ago, he having made but one visit to his boyhood home in that time, which was about 21 years hence. AND: Between one and two o'clock Monday morning the large new dwelling house of Alva Button, near Card pond in Springville Twp, was discovered on fire. The flames had made such a rapid headway that the inmates were just able to escape by jumping from the porch in their night clothes. Mr. Button, however, succeeded in saving a box, containing about $100 in cash. The house and its contents were worth in the neighborhood of $1500, with no insurance.

NORTH BRIDGEWATER: Hard frost the morning of Sept. 22. AND: Samuel Warriner is preparing to build a fine residence on his farm, for his summer home.

LANESBORO: It is reported that coal has been discovered in a range of mountains near Canawacta creek, above Lanesboro, and parties from Susquehanna and Forest City are completing arrangements to begin operations at once. AND: In Glenwood, the prospects for a find of coal is very promising on the farm of M. Cadden. Slate, sulphur and coal have been found at a depth of 27 feet in digging a well on the farm.

MONTROSE: Harrington's Mills has been very attractively re-painted--in fact, "It's gay." The work was under the supervision of James Smith. The new sign that spans the main entrance of the mill shows Mr. Hedden at his best in lettering. AND; "Harry Lumley, the local ballplayer who is making good with a vengeance at Brooklyn, has become the recipient, perhaps unconscious, of another honor in the baseball world--an honor, in fact, which could not be left out of the past master's outfit." says a Lestershire writer. "He has been made a character in the Merriwell series of weekly novels for boys. In the line-up of the team appears his name although the author got crossed on the position the famous ball players plays and listed him for third. Still this crowning honor of all will not be disparaged because of a little slip of the pen. Lum is in a fair way to have a soda biscuit and a necktie named after him if he continues in his present winning ways." Lumley is well remembered by the Montrose lovers of the game, having played with the team one season several years ago. AND: An alarm of fire a little after 4 A.M. called out the firemen to find that the beautiful new home of A.R. Anthony, on Lake Ave., was on fire. Mr. Pennypacker, Commander Richards, and other neighbors were the first to arrive, while Miss Mary Sayre ran down to the Court House and rang the alarm bell. The upper part of the house is badly damaged. The family will move into Mrs. Post's residence on High Street.

NEW MILFORD: E.S. Garratt, E.S. Hayden, F.N. Gillespie and Geo. P. McConnell, have gone to the big woods of Oregon, where they intend to camp in tents through the winter and look the country over, with a view of taking up timber claims, if the prospects prove favorable.

HOPBOTTOM: Roberts Brothers' store was opened on Saturday with a fine display of goods.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: It is surprising how some of the old bachelors are learning to cake walk.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Rev. W. C. Tilden has been pastor of the Baptist church for the past 50 years and during his pastorate he has performed more than 700 marriage ceremonies and preached at 876 funeral services. An old horse of his that recently died, he had driven more than 60,000 miles in Susquehanna county. He was at one time county superintendent of schools.

GREAT BEND: The county commissioners were here last week looking the bridge over and investigating the matter of trying to recover some of the ironwork of the old span, which lies in the bed of the river at different points. We trust that our county fathers will see the wisdom of having the permanent span put in before the cold weather comes on and makes such work more difficult.

LAKESIDE: Bert Oliver, who operates the traction engine owned by the Moses Shields stone company, while watching the game of ball between Hallstead and New Milford, was struck in the face by a "foul tip," the ball striking him squarely on his nose and crushing it badly. Dr. Hull was present and took Mr. Oliver to his office and patched up the injured member.

NEWS BRIEFS: A telephone arrangement, by which a person speaking may also see the face of the person at the other end of the line, has been invented by J.B. Fowler of Portland, Oregon. AND: Bunnell & Pierson's new ad will appear next week. It will tell you about New York millinery, at unapproachable prices. AND: It is not generally known, but it is nevertheless a fact, that Scranton has the largest button manufactory in the world, and that in all parts of the world its buttons are being sewed on garments. AND: Paris has decided that tall, thin women shall be the style this year.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

New Offices for Commissioners

Work has started on the new offices for our three county commissioners. The offices formerly occupied by the Area Agency on Aging in the Warner Building will be the new home of the commissioners taking them out of the courthouse for the first time in county history.

The feeling here is that, by moving out of the courthouse, the commissioners are leaving the main artery of county government. The employees who work for the commissioners will remain in the familiar courthouse offices. Visitors will need to go there first to find out if the commissioners are in, and then be directed to the individual offices of the commissioners in another building. If a visitor requires something from the commissioners’ business offices rather than their personal offices, they will be sent back to the business offices in the courthouse.

Then too, visitors will need a map or a tour guide if they are to go from the courthouse to the commissioners’ offices in the Warner Building without leaving the courthouse complex. There is a separate entrance into the new commissioners’ offices from the street but it is on the extreme north end of the Warner Building.

Ah, but the move is very convenient for the commissioners. They will have parking facilities in the Warner Building parking lot. They will be able to go in and out of their private offices with no worries about running into a constituent in the halls of the courthouse. And they will be secluded so that no one will know when they are or are not available. Such convenience for a paltry $800 a week salary plus benefits.

Big Turnout Expected

Linda Hollenbeck, Susquehanna County’s registrar of voters, said she is anticipating a large turnout for this year’s Presidential Election. Ms. Hollenbeck said interest in voting is high and the number of new voters has increased dramatically.

"It would not surprise me if we have an 80 percent turnout or better," Mrs. Hollenbeck said. "There is always a good voter turnout at Presidential Elections, but this one appears to be attracting much more interest."

By the way, in case you are curious, I am told that two of the hottest selling political bumper stickers in Washington these days read: "Vote Democrat –It’s Easier Than Working"; and, "Vote Republican –It’s Easier Than Thinking." Another hot seller reads, "Politicians and Diapers Need To Be Changed For The Same Reason."

Going Up!

Work on the new elevator in the county courthouse is moving along nicely and it is surprising how much attention is being paid to keeping the noise level as low as possible and plugging up openings that could result in dust and dirt spreading throughout the interior of the building.

Credit, of course, belongs to the contractor, Jerry Gantz Inc. of Scranton, who was awarded a $220,000 contract to install the elevator.

Probation Department Keeping Up

The Susquehanna County Probation Department continues to set the pace in county government for keeping up with today’s technology or, more specifically. computernomix. (Yes, as far as I know, computernomix is my word.) Jeff Shoemaker, head of the adult probation department, is proud of the new web site the county has, because it allows him space to put photographs of wanted people on the internet where they can be accessed and viewed with little or problems. Jeff said the accessibility has been instrumental in apprehending some suspects.

If you want to take a peek at the site, the URL is

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SCHS Graduate "A Millionaire" – Amy Holmes, on August 25, 2003, realized a dream of all lottery players. Mrs. Holmes, of Ararat, purchased several tickets from the Arlo Country Store in Ararat, one of them worth a million dollars. Mrs. Holmes is a Susquehanna High School graduate, class of 1980. At first her husband, Sam did not believe it. They have two children, Steven, a senior at Susky High and Matthew, 13, an eighth grader. They plan a trip, later.

Nurses Needed In PA – Blue Cross of N. E. Pennsylvania is offering $750,000 in scholarships over the next three years to lessen the shortage of nurses. Blue Cross will give the money to the Nursing Education Initiative of Penna. Higher Education. The company said there is a drastic shortage of nurses. For more information, nursing students can contact their school’s nursing department. Susquehanna’s Barnes-Kasson Hospital is in the process of conducting a Nurse Aide Program in its SNF Department.

It Isn’t Getting Any Better – As of September 8, US military deaths in Iraq have passed the 1,000 mark – and counting. More than 800 of them happened after the capture of Saddam. The sickening part is that more deaths have occurred since President Bush declared "The Iraq War Is Over!" It is estimated that over 10,000 Iraqis have been killed since the war started.

Bowling Opens With A Bang – On Tuesday evening, September 7, bowling at Riverside Lanes on opening night, it seemed like the bowlers didn’t need any practice. Right off the bat, the first game, Jack Beamer rolled a 300 followed by scores of 213 and 213. (Too bad his 300 ruined a triplicate!) The 300 was Jack’s fifth. On the same team, Carl Burdick spared in the first frame then bowled 11 strikes for a 290, followed by 197 and 163, for 650. Beamer totaled 726.

American Veterans Overseas – Where Are They? Outside the United States and its territories, not including those stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest concentration of US military personnel were in the following countries as of March 31, 2004. The following was taken from the American Legion magazine, in round figures: Germany 75,000; Korea 40,000; Japan 40,000; United Kingdom 11,000; Qatar 3,000; Bosnia 3000; Spain 2,000; Turkey 1,900; Iceland 1,700; Bahran 1,400. American veteran populations: in US and Puerto Rico 26,000,000; Gulf War veterans 3,573,000; Vietnam War 8,293,000; Korean War 3,733,000; number of World War II vets 4,762,000 as of September 30, 2002.

A Laugh or Two

HUSBAND to wife: I invited a friend home for supper. Wife: are you crazy? The house is a mess, I didn’t go shopping, all the dishes are dirty and I don’t feel like cooking. Husband: I know all that. Wife: then why did you invite a friend for supper? Husband: because the poor fool’s thinking about getting married.

HUSBAND to wife: do you ever look at a man and wish you were single again? Wife: yes, every morning.

MY AUNT Millie could have married anybody she pleased. They why didn’t she ever get married? Because she never pleased anybody.

WIFE to husband: what do you say we go out tonight and have a good time? Husband: good idea. And if you get home first, turn on the porch light.

MAN: how much would you charge to fix my car? Mechanic: what’s wrong with it? Man: I’m not sure. Mechanic: twelve hundred dollars.

SMART LADY: every week, she rents a goat for two dollars, then tells her husband she paid fifteen dollars to have the grass mowed.

A 5¢ SHOW: When a family returned from Sunday morning service, the father criticized the sermon, the daughter said the choir’s singing was off-key, and the mother found fault with the organist’s playing. They dropped the subject when the young son said, "But it was a good show for a nickel, don’t you think, Dad?"

COLOR BLIND: one cabbie says to another, "Why is one side of your cab painted blue and the other painted green?"

"Well," the other cabbie said, "when I get in an accident, the police always believe my version of what happened. All the witnesses contradict each other."

THE PENALTY for bigamy is two mothers-in-law.

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From the Desk Of The DA

It is fairly common for separated or divorced parents to call the state police or other law enforcement officers to seek assistance in custody matters. For instance, a custody order may provide for one parent to have visitation every other weekend, and the parent will contact the state police because he has not received his child for the weekend. Generally speaking, custody disputes are civil matters and the state police (or other law enforcement officers) will not get involved. There are exceptions to this general rule.

If a non-custodial parent (or a third party), without a privilege to do so, has unlawfully removed a minor child from the custody of a parent with primary physical custody, then a potential crime has been committed, namely interference with custody of a child under 18 Pa. C.S. ß 2904. In order to demonstrate a criminal violation against a parent, it must be shown that the parent was knowingly acting contrary to a custody order issued by a court with jurisdiction over the child. It is a further defense if it can be demonstrated that custody of the child was taken in order to protect the child from a dangerous situation. Although the statute appears fairly broad, its application to parents generally involves situations where one parent has absconded with the minor child in violation of an existing court order. Given the nature of these domestic situations, even where a court order exists, there are often disagreements over custody arrangements, and such disagreements do not automatically rise to the level of a criminal offense merely because there may have been a technical violation of an existing court order. Where a clear and blatant violation has occurred, such as a parent absconding with the minor child in violation of the existing court order, the potential criminal sanctions can be severe. In the most egregious situations, the offense constitutes a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000.

Even where law enforcement refuses to act, the legislature has enacted a new law, effective August 15, 2004, through which a parent may petition a court for an order directing law enforcement to take physical custody of a minor child. 23 Pa. C.S. ß 5451, 5455-5546. In order for such an order to be issued, the parent must demonstrate either (1) that the child is at risk of imminent physical harm; or (2) that the child is likely to be removed from the Commonwealth. In these circumstances, a warrant will be issued for the minor child setting forth the circumstances requiring the issuance of the warrant, directing law enforcement to take immediate custody of the minor child, and providing a placement for the minor child pending a final custody order. If a warrant has been obtained under the new enactment, law enforcement officers are required to take immediate steps to obtain custody of the minor child.

Common sense suggests that law enforcement officers will generally avoid getting involved in custody disputes between two parents. The new enactment provides a meaningful step for a concerned parent to obtain judicial relief, as well as obtaining the immediate assistance of law enforcement in taking custody of the minor child. The law strikes a proper balance, as it requires a court to review the facts of the case before requiring law enforcement to get involved in custody disputes. Without such judicial review and direction, or some egregious situation requiring immediate action, parents should not expect law enforcement to become involved in custody matters.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.

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