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Look For Our HUNTING SPECIAL In The NOVEMBER 24th ISSUE Of The County Transcript

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
An Inside Look

Slices of Life


Ah, the indignities of age. Tonight I am heading off to choir practice with a gaping hole in my mouth where a crown used to be. I will have to remember not to smile too broadly. It will be a few days before I can get this crown replaced, but fortunately, I have this jewel tucked away securely in a plastic bag.

Losing it was one of those surprises that sneak up on us now and then. I was eating homemade chicken/noodle soup when I suddenly bit down on something hard. Thinking I had missed a bone in the broth, I reached to take it from my mouth, and there was my crown, complete with dangerous looking screw. If I had swallowed it, I can’t imagine it would have been too good for my intestines.

When I called the dentist’s office, I suggested while I’m there getting this replaced, they might also do the cleaning that the hygienist has been bugging me about. She agreed to set up those appointments for the same day, and said we could then schedule the other crown I wanted done.

I said, "I don’t want that done. It’s the dentist who thinks I need a crown. I’m satisfied with all those fillings in that tooth. I don’t think we’ll do that."

I can’t tell you how many crowns I’ve had come loose over the years. Why would I want to add another one to the mix when the tooth is still functioning as is?

I’ve been contemplating another prosthetic device, which really makes no sense given my sensitivity to anything near my eyes. Because the two sides of my body are not exact replicas, there are days when my glasses drive me to distraction because they don’t sit straight on my face. I re-settle them over and over, until I get my mind on something else. So I’d been thinking about contact lenses. (My daughter is holding her sides with laughter as she reads this, because she knows how skittish I am about my eyes.) Now I know I’d be all day just trying to get the finger holding the lens near my eye, let alone seating the thing properly. And I’m certainly not adventuresome enough to have the laser procedure done. So I’m probably stuck with the crooked glasses. And I hate to think of the day when I have to replace these eight-year-old ones, because I’m remembering the fiasco I had getting these right. Lucky for me my eyes haven’t changed in that length of time and I really like these frames.

"Maturity" seems to mean patching, replacing, tinkering with and making do. It also involves deciding how much medical intervention we will tolerate (or welcome), what supplements, if any, will line our kitchen shelves, whether or not we will go the massage/chiropractic route or the medical profession way. Also how much prescription medication we will sign on to. Deciding if what’s keeping us alive is also killing us slowly. Do I sound like a skeptic?

Then there’s the other way of just keeping on with your life, making it fuller with humanitarian involvement; less "I" centered.

I have met the most inspiring older woman. Having recently become widowed, she fills her days with meaningful, necessary volunteer work, as well as honing her considerable musical skills. Working with other civic-minded people, she got hundreds, if not thousands, of Pennsylvania citizens registered before the election. Not registered necessarily to her political party; just registered so they could vote.
When you stop to think about it, losing a tooth or two is a small price to pay for being alive and well, and having as much of the world as you can manage be your playground.

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100 Years Ago

RUSH: Sheridan & Price of Meshoppen are holding a special clothing sale at the store of Kahler & Terry, Lawton, and showing the largest assortment of new fashionable suits and overcoats for men and boys, as well as ladies' coats, furs, walking skirts, suitings, waistings, etc., ever shown in this vicinity and prices rock bottom. Don't miss this chance. The sale will last only until the 19th of the month.

KINGSLEY: Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Jeffers, of Plainsboro, N.J., visited their parents and joined by Mrs. Watson Jeffers, went on to the exposition at St. Louis; upon their return stopping at Chicago and Niagara Falls, and visiting relatives at LaGrange, Ill. Mr. Jeffers also spent a day at the Walker-Gordon milk plant at Milwaukee.

MONTROSE: Sometime during Monday night burglars entered the office connected with Harrington's Mills by removing a pane of glass. They then proceeded to crack the safe, using some strong explosive, with which they blew it to pieces. The contents were about $10, which they took. The greater loss was the wrecked safe and damaged office. Mr. Harrold and Mr. Bond heard the explosion but thought it was someone firing a gun, and paid no attention to it. The burglars also visited S. E. Hart's store, breaking a window and took some shoes, cigars, and other goods in a small way. Mr. Munger, the book keeper at Harrington's, tells us it was probably done by amateurs. And yet the job seemed to have been successfully done. They probably were looking for a much larger wad of money in Harrington's safe, but John keeps his money in the bank, like nearly everybody else, and not in a safe.

NEW MILFORD: Col. C. C. Pratt has sold to P. S. Strader, of Lexington, Ky., his three fast horses, Donna MacGregor, Mona S. and Norva. E. C. Downs and an assistant left Binghamton yesterday to take the horses to Lexington.

FOREST CITY: The new glass front in the city building transforms it into a very sightly store room. AND: George Antonitis and Annie Zanoski applied for a marriage license.

LENOX: Don't forget the Grange fair and chicken pie supper, Thursday evening, Nov. 17. AND: W. R. Doran will have a public sale next Tuesday. The Grange literary society will furnish sandwiches and coffee for those who desire lunch.

FRANKLIN FORKS: Frank Pierson and Nelson Green moved their threshing outfit to North Bridgewater, where they will engage in threshing.

FAIRDALE: The new road to Fair Hill is finished as far as Merton Palmer's, the part above they expect to finish this fall. One farmer said if it had been done 30 years ago it would have been worth dollars to him; to some of the other farmers it would have been worth more, but Oh! dear, the taxes! Keep good courage, Mr. Selfishness says we won't all go to the poor house yet awhile.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: Let all of those who think poultry does not pay, read the following facts: Mrs. M. V. Davidson had January 1st, 1904, 16 Barred Plymouth Rock hens. Nov. 1st she had 29 hens and pullets, [and] during that time she raised and sold $23.59 worth of chickens at the market prices, 12 to 14 cents per pound. Also sold $26.66 worth of eggs at 15 to24 cents per dozen, making a total of $50.25. Who can beat that?

BROOKLYN: From the present outlook it does not look as though the recently burned condensery at Brooklyn would be rebuilt. Some of the farmers have not yet received all their pay for milk, and several have brought suit against the company.

SUSQUEHANNA: Patrick Shay, the veteran Erie track walker, who was struck by a train on Monday, October 31st, died from the injuries sustained, on Sunday last, and the funeral was held from the Catholic church in Susquehanna, last Tuesday morning.

SOUTH GIBSON: Mr. and Mrs. Green and Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds will soon start for Florida to spend the winter. AND: Samie Hull is the prize raccoon hunter. He has caught eleven.

MIDDLETOWN CENTRE: Several from this place attended the dance at Birchardville and report a fine time. AND: Miss Margaret Coleman is attending school at Laceyville.

GREAT BEND: The Ladies Aid of the M.E. Church, served sandwiches, coffee and clam chouder [chowder] on election day and evening. A neat sum was realized.

NEWS BRIEFS: Mrs. Jenny Lasher was sentenced, at Binghamton, to 30 days in the county jail for endangering the lives of her children by smoking cigarettes in their presence. The complaint was made by her husband and the conviction is the first of its kind under the New York State law. AND: A safe remedy for want of sleep is nothing more or less than eating onions. The late Frank Buckland once said, "Everybody knows the taste of onions; this is due to a peculiar essential oil contained in this most valuable and healthy root. This oil has, I am sure, highly soporific powers. In my own case it never fails." AND: According to an exchange, the Maple Dale Good Roads Club at Middletown, N.Y., is furnishing that section of the country with a roadbed equal to the high-priced State roads at an actual cost of about $100 per mile. The club contends that good roads ought to be made anywhere, exclusive of cutting down grades, at an average cost of $200 per mile in a country where stone is so easily obtained as it is almost anywhere in the East. AND: The Sayre hospital operated on 60 patients for appendicitis during the year ending June 1, only four of whom died. The present year promises to greatly exceed the number of last year, as during the first five months 60 persons were treated for that disease. AND: None others like the cow! There is not a thing from her nose to her tail but that is utilized for the use of man. We use her horns to comb our hair; her skins are upon our feet; her hair keeps the plaster upon our walls; her hoofs make glue; her tail makes soup; she gives our cream, milk, cheese and our butter, and her flesh is the great meat of our nation; her blood is used to make our sugar white; her bones are ground to fertilize our soil, and even her paunch she herself has put through the first chemical process necessary for the production of the best white cardboard paper, and now they have discovered that such paper can be made into the finest quality of false teeth.

Keep up with past issues of "100 Years Ago" on our website,

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Election Fallout

It seems that no election can pass in Susquehanna County without a few faux pas and last week’s Big E was no different. I will never understand why the Board of Elections cannot simply meet with the judges of elections from the various municipalities a week or two before an election and give them a brief but concise rundown on all the rules and regs of elections and suggest that they follow them.
But then again, I really should have no trouble understanding why it doesn’t happen. It’s because this is Susquehanna County and our high-priced commissioners just do not have the time for trivial things like instructions on the proper way to run an election. There are always more important items on their agendas like a freebie dinner or a meeting invite where they can expound upon their virtues and how great they are at getting things done.

And so, my friends, the bottom line is a snafu here and a snafu there. Whatever happened to that old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure?

Anyhow, what follows are a few of the incidents that were brought to my attention.

In New Milford Borough, a 17-year-old high school student was recruited by Commissioner Mary Ann Warren to help out at the polls. The move was perfectly legal and in accordance with a state law passed in 2002. Ah, but when the young man arrived at the polls, an election judge told him he was too young and chased him home.

Also in New Milford, a poll watcher was observed wearing a Kerry button and in Hallstead another poll worker was seen with a Bush-Cheney button pinned on her. Also in New Milford and in Hallstead, political literature was found inside the polling places and, I was told, that in Hallstead the paraphernalia was found in the voting booth.

I was told that a poll worker in Great Bend Township was calling her home periodically for updates on the election returns and then, like a town crier, was announcing them inside the polling place. As you may or may not know, that is a no-no. That’s why there are no television sets, radios or any election day newspapers allowed inside the polls.

In a community where the caller preferred to remain anonymous along with the voting district she was talking about, a Democrat Minority Inspector at the polls was overheard telling a voter who to vote for.

In New Milford Borough a woman was refused a provisional ballot. These provisional ballots are to be used when there appears to be some doubt about the eligibility of the voter to cast a ballot or the voter is not listed in the voter registration book. I am told that no one should be refused a provisional ballot if either of the above mentioned reasons for not being allowed to vote is applicable. The provisional ballot is allowed if the Board of Elections rules in favor of the voter.

And then, there’s Bridgewater Township. You might remember an election or so back when one of the election judges locked the ballot box in his car and went home with full intention of taking it to the courthouse in the morning. This time they might have topped themselves.

If you recall, when you vote, you sign a registration book that lists your name and address, party affiliation and a few other particulars. Well, poll workers from both political parties each have a smaller book that also lists your name, address, and party affiliation. When you sign up to vote, the person signing you in generally advises these other poll workers of who you are and they, in turn, are to find your name in their books and write down the vote number given them by an election judge.

As told to me by a couple of reliable sources, in Bridgewater Township, they did check the names and numbers of the voters in these secondary books as they were supposed to do. Don’t know whether the line was too big or the workers just could not find the names fast enough, but apparently someone made a decision to let it go and do it all the next day. This is a major violation of the election laws.

I was in the courthouse last Wednesday when two men were sitting in the hall outside the voter registration office filling in the Bridgewater Township voting books as required by law.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

Last fall, the Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office applied for a grant specifically identified for the use of fighting gun violence. One of the specific requirements of this grant required that a certain percentage of the grant be used for juvenile services. Thankfully, Susquehanna County does not have a large problem with gun violence. As a result of hard work by my staff, we put together a grant application that provided services to the children of Susquehanna County, primarily children in kindergarten through third grade.

As a result of the receipt of the grant funds, we purchased over two hundred copies of a children’s book entitled Gorp’s Gift. This book is a short rhyme based story, with colorful pictures, depicting the Gorp, a large purple creature, explaining to children that they should not play with guns. In particular, the message to the children essentially contains a few easy to remember rules for children – if you find a gun, don’t touch it, run to find an adult, and tell the adult about the presence of the gun. We provided each school district with 30 copies of Gorp’s Gift and a teacher’s guide.

As part of our grant proposal, I went to each elementary school in the county, seven all told, and read Gorp’s Gift to grades kindergarten through third grade. After reading the story to the children, we discussed Gorp’s message and reviewed the proper response to finding a gun. In the end, in response to my questions, the children were able to shout out Gorp’s message – don’t touch, get away, and tell an adult.

In order to reinforce this message, we also provided the children with pencils, bookmarks, pamphlets, and coloring books, all of which contained the same rules as Gorp’s Gift. We do have a small number of these items left over, and, if you are interested for your children, please stop by the District Attorney’s Office and, while supplies last, we would be happy to accommodate your needs.
In short, I was able to visit with approximately 2,500 children in Susquehanna County. The children were well behaved, listened attentively, and clearly understood the Gorp’s message. The parents, teachers, and family have every reason to be very proud of our young residents. Although the process was time consuming, I must admit that I had a terrific time with these children, and hope that I will have the opportunity to provide them with similar programs in the future.
During one of the presentations, however, I was struck by the stark reality of the danger that we were addressing. After reading the story to one of the many classes, a small boy raised his hand, and told me that he had accidentally shot himself while playing with a gun. In that instance, I struggled with the appropriate response to this little victim. I thought several things – a miracle, a lesson, a survivor, and a reminder. Although gun incidents are rare in Susquehanna County, this little boy reminded me that no community is immune to potential tragedies. In fact, I realized that Gorp’s message was not just for the children.

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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An Inside Look

It has come to my attention that, for as often as I mention it, I have not fully gone into detail about the young scholars program I am currently participating in. Last year, my guidance counselor was telling us about our options during our senior year, and one in particular caught my attention. What he said was that we could take college courses, receive the credits, and then transfer them to the school we chose to attend. Even better was the promise of getting out of school early everyday, even if there were no scheduled college classes. Last year, it sounded like there could not possibly be a down side.

I decided to take part it in it, and after I got my schedule all worked out and got accepted into the program, I was set to go. Almost all of the local colleges offer some sort of program where high school students can be enrolled to take general courses, therefore leaving the options open. My personal choice was Wilkes University’s Young Scholars program. The classes definitely challenge those that take part and will definitely help with any student’s actual college career load.

A lot of people have asked me if I’d recommend to classmates in the years after me to take part in such programs, and I would have to say I most definitely would. Although it does kind of get lonely not spending the whole day with my school friends, knowing that I’m getting a jump start on my future definitely brightens up my mood. My advice is just do not stretch yourself out too thin, because it is not so important to get involved in this type of program to risk stressing yourself out more than you ever thought possible.

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