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July 4th

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Issue Home July 5, 2006 Site Home

100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
The Family Doctor
Straight From Starrucca

100 Years Ago

HALLSTEAD: James Justin, who resides in Bridgewater, was quite seriously injured in the Hallstead-Great Bend Horsebreeders’ Association races at Hallstead on Wednesday. Mr. Justin was driving Aurial in the 3:00 minute class. As the horses came down the home stretch in the final heat, his horse, which was being driven to a high wheeled sulky, in some unaccountable manner, got one of his forefeet caught in the wheel. The animal and sulky were turned completely over, carrying with it the driver. Mr. Justin was quickly taken from underneath the sulky and out of reach of the animal’s struggles. He was carried to the stables and medical attendance was secured, an examination revealing bad bruises and it is feared he is quite seriously injured internally, but to what extent is difficult determine. The horse was speedily quieted and apparently escaped unharmed.

NEW MILFORD: Mr. And Mrs. D. W. Shay have recently sold their farm and intend in the fall to go West, where they may decide to make their home. Both have many friends in this vicinity who will deeply regret their departure.

MONTROSE: A. R. Anthony, with his accustomed energy, has been soliciting subscriptions this week for the Country Club’s proposed new club house. He has found both permanent and summer residents willing and liberal contributors and the projected building appears assured. The plans will not call for as expensive a structure as previously contemplated, but an up-to-date, substantial and commodious club house will be erected on the most easily accessible part of the ground. Besides providing pleasant social quarters, a good dancing floor is to be one of the features. It is expected that the expense of building can be reduced by utilizing some of the excellently preserved lumber and timber in the large barn located on the premises. AND: Miss Alice Dolan, daughter of Mr. & Mrs.Thos. L. Dolan. took the initial vows upon her induction into the Order of Mercy. Bishop Hoban, of Scranton, officiated. She is now known as Sister Mary Constance.

OAKLAND: Scranton detectives claim one link in the chain of evidence alone is missing to fasten the guilt upon Maude Haynes’ murderers, the Oakland girl whose body was found floating in the Susquehanna.

HEART LAKE: The Odd Fellows Band cleared in the neighborhood of $50 from the celebration which they conducted here on the Fourth. The game of ball between the Heart Lake team and a nine composed of band members was won by Heart Lake, the score being 23-8. The music for the dancing was furnished by Doran’s orchestra of Susquehanna. The large crowd in attendance could not help but enjoy themselves and the day passed off merrily and with no accidents to mar its pleasure.

MIDDLETOWN TWP.: The Middletown Center base ball nine crossed bats with the Friendsville nine last Sunday. Score 4 to 1 in favor of Friendsville.

ELK LAKE: On Thursday the neighbors met at the Elk Lake cemetery and gave it a cleaning and straightened up the tombstones, which added greatly to its looks.

LAWSVILLE: Cupid has been very busy in our town of late and the result is the marriage of Earl Northrop and Etta Lindsley, May 10th; B. W. Meeker and Arlene Southworth, June 14th; George Roberts, of Hallstead and Cecil Small of this place, June 27th. C. E. Deane is to bring a bride home soon, and we hear rumors of other engagements.

SPRINGVILLE: Lightning struck and killed eleven ewes and nine lambs last Friday for C. F. Dodge over in the eastern part of the township. They have been appraised at $80 and as they were insured he will get two-thirds of the appraised value. Saturday a pine tree standing near Stuart Riley’s barn was struck, the top being cut off and dropped to the ground the striking square on the broken end, then falling on the corner of his barn, taking off a portion of the roof. Two or three telephone poles near town were also struck.

BRIDGEWATER: While Will B. Stephens, the well-known and popular Bridgewater Collector, was driving from his home in West Bridgewater, he met with one of the most remarkable accidents imaginable, and a serious one at the same time. While ascending the hill near Edwin Sprout’s, he saw some turkeys in the lot, and at that instant a dog came rushing out and scared the turkeys, which started to fly and one of them, weighing 15 lbs., came sailing straight as a bullet and nearly as fast, towards Will, and struck him squarely in the breast and fell dead, the impact killing it. Will was injured and was assisted into the house. Later he felt better and went on home. The next few days he felt better, though still sore; then he grew worse, a large swelling appeared and he is in a serious condition, we very much regret to hear, through internal injuries, including the liver and it is said an operation to relieve him will be necessary.

ALFORD: Frank Richardson is one of the veteran violinists of the county.

SILVER LAKE: His many acquaintances will be glad to learn that Martin T. Meehan, formerly a Silver Lake boy, has been ordained to the priesthood of the Catholic church. His first solemn High Mass was celebrated in the church of The Nativity, at Nativity Place, Scranton, Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Father Meehan will remain with Father James O’Reilly, of Nativity Parish, until assigned elsewhere by Bishop Hoban. He will probably go to the Plattsburg Diocese.

UNIONDALE: Mrs. Jasper Gardner, of Clifford, was in town visiting friends lately. She said during one of the severe showers lightning struck a flock of chickens of hers, killing two of them and stunning the rest of them so they did not eat anything for two days. This completely kills the old saying that, “nothing was ever known to have been struck by lightning that had feathers.”

FRANKLIN: Mr. Ogden’s people, of Binghamton, are at Salt Springs, one of the most beautiful summer resorts in the State. AND: Our supervisor, A. E. Stockholm, and a lot of our small boys, are pulling out stone and making our roads much better.

FOREST CITY: Another sad fatality occurred in No. 2 mine last week when the life of Anthony Belasky was crushed out by a fall of rock and as a result the wife and one small child are left without support. The young man was a Lithuanian about 24 years old and had been a resident for some time. The funeral took place Friday morning. The services were conducted by Rev. J. Kuras in St. Anthony’s church and interment was made in St. Agnes cemetery.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


A ride through the country

Last Wednesday morning I was driving along Route 102 heading for Montrose to cover a meeting of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners. After reading in the morning newspaper that area roads were closing due to flooding, I decided to leave early and allow myself plenty of time to make the 10 a.m. meeting. I have been driving weekly to Montrose for 17 years and never saw an impassable road but there is always that first time.

I noticed the ditches on the side of the road were overflowing a bit in some spots but it did not appear to be anything serious. When I passed the Mountain View schools and started down the other side of the mountain I noticed a little more water alongside the road but so far no problems.

I stopped at the intersection of Routes 11 and 106 then crossed over to go through Kingsley and take the road to Route 167. I could not believe my eyes as I looked down at the street. All I saw ahead was water. And from some source underneath Route 11, more water was gushing into what I kiddingly refer to as Downtown Kingsley. Further on down the street, the bridge was water covered and the area around it was also water covered.

It did not take me long to realize there was no way I could jockey the Caravan through that much water. I backed up and headed north on Route 11 figuring when I got to Rt. 706 I could climb the Summit and cruise into Montrose. I had to dodge a few landslides on Route 11 and finally made it to 706. I turned left, went over the bridge, around the curve and started up the Summit. I could see a PENNDOT road crew near the top of the hill but I continued to climb that mountain until I saw a frantic hand motioning me to go back. I could see the road was split as if someone had taken a saw and just cut right through the pavement.

I backed down and cut in a dirt road where a guy in a pickup truck was exiting. I asked him if there was any route on that dirt road that would take me to Montrose. He suggested I just keep trying left turns at all dirt roads and, if I can get to the top of the mountain on one of them, it will take me to where I can get to 706 past the lacerated road. Well my friends, six dirt roads later, I was no farther ahead than when PENNDOT stopped me on 706. I drove up those dirt roads until the roads were washed away and then I had to back down each of them. I headed back to 706 figuring to make my way back home and forget about the meeting.

At 706 I looked up that hill and saw a little eastbound car jockeying around that broken road and, sure 'nuf! That little car made it! Of course there were no PENNDOT men around to stop him from trying but I had to flag that guy down and get instructions from him as to how he did it. He asked me if I saw him coming through that break in the road and I answered that I sure did. Then he said if I just reversed the moves he made coming down, I could go up. I got up there and pulled alongside a $35,000 Acura with my rusty 1992 Dodge Caravan. He seemed concerned but he said he was going closer to get a better look. He drove right to the break in the road, stopped quickly and started backing up. He got to me and said that road is sliced in two and he wasn't about to try to drive through it. He went down the hill backwards and I proceeded up the hill toward that busted up road.

I stopped when I reached it, dropped the trans into low gear and moved forward. The front tires hit the split in the road and just stopped moving. Water was splashing off the car and I figured that I had had it. I had one more thought left. I began giving that rusty old crate more gas. It kicked up some dirt and I thought sure I was gonna be in that crevice for the duration. I pressed down a bit more on that gas pedal and that old wagon lunged forward like a bull charging a red flag. The front tires climbed out of there and when they hit the pavement, I eased back and let that jalopy crawl out of the crack in the road. I was too late for the meeting but I reached my destination.

There weren't too many county employees in the courthouse and I knew why. If they had to go through what I went through, I don’t blame any of them that might have said, “Hell with this, I’m going back home.” Besides, Gov. Ed Rendell had declared a state emergency and urged people to stay off the roads. So these county workers had nothing to fear and they would get paid for the day, right! Well, not exactly.

From a reliable source, I was told that someone at the courthouse decided to advise county workers, who did not make it to work on Wednesday, to tell payroll whether they are using a sick day, a vacation day or a personal day in order to get paid for the day. Wow! There was only one open roadway going into Montrose. A motorist would have had to figure a way to get to Route 167, which was an impossibility unless the person lived in or around Brooklyn Township then take 167 north to 706 and then west into Montrose. Forget about that road that begins in Kingsley and ends at Route 167 near Cornerstone Lumber. Kingsley was under water and the bridge on that road just before it meets Route 167 was twisted like a pretzel and impossible to get through with any kind of motor vehicle.

I managed to make contact with Roberta Kelly, chair of the Board of Commissioners, who, incidentally, could not get to the courthouse on Wednesday because all roads leading from Susquehanna Depot where she lives were blocked due to flooding. Mrs. Kelly said she would talk with Commissioners Jeff Loomis and Mary Ann Warren and try to get their support to pay the county workers for the day.

“I don’t believe the workers should be penalized because they could not get to work,” Mrs. Kelly said.

In conclusion, I can only add, Bravo Mrs. Kelly, Bravo!!

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

In last week’s column, I discussed the federal “knock-and-announce” rule in connection with a recent United States Supreme Court decision. In that case, a divided Supreme Court concluded that suppression of evidence was not an appropriate response to a violation of the “knock-and-announce” rule. The important thing to remember whenever considering decisions of the United States Supreme Court is that it often only tells half the story.

Because we live in a federal system of government, the other half of the story is found in the state court system. The rights of Americans are protected not only by the federal constitution, but also by the constitution of the particular state where a citizen resides. There are times that the federal and state constitutions contain the same protections, there are times when the state constitution provides less protection than the federal constitution, and, there are times when the federal constitution provides less protection that the state constitution. There are few areas of the law that these divergent views are more apparent than in the field of criminal procedure.

The “knock-and-announce” rule provides an excellent example of the differences that surface between the state and federal levels. In 1991, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided Commonwealth v. Chambers. In that case, during the execution of a search warrant, the police knocked on the door of the residence and the defendant answered. As the defendant was opening the door, a police officer pushed the door open, pointed his revolver at the defendant, indicated that they had a search warrant, and directed the defendant to stand against the wall. During the subsequent search of the residence, drugs and drug paraphernalia was located.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was asked to consider whether this entry violated the knock-and-announce rule. The Court noted: “The purpose [of the knock-and-announce rule] may be achieved only if the police officer awaits a response for a reasonable period of time after his announcement of identity, authority and purpose.” The court recognized that there are circumstances that require the rule to be relaxed, such as the fear for officer safety or that evidence would be destroyed. In the absence of such exceptions, the police are expected to stand at the door, keep knocking and announcing their presence and purpose for a reasonable amount of time before entering.

In Chambers, the Commonwealth argued that suppression was not the appropriate remedy for a violation of the knock-and-announce rule. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that suppression of evidence was warranted where the police conduct “implicates fundamental, constitutional concerns.” With respect to the knock-and-announce rule, the Court noted that it relates directly to the “prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures” contained in the Pennsylvania Constitution. Because there was a state constitutional violation, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered that suppression of the evidence was the appropriate remedy.

Thus, the Hudson decision of the United States Supreme Court and the Chambers decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court come to directly opposite conclusions based upon similar facts. In Hudson, the United States Supreme Court concluded that suppression was appropriate only where it was aimed at deterring police misconduct, and, in the instance where a valid search warrant had already been obtained, a technical violation of the knock-and-announce rule did not rise to the level of police misconduct that warranted suppression. In Chambers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that suppression was appropriate whenever a constitutional provision had been violated even where the police had a valid warrant, had knocked on the door, and allowed the defendant to answer the door, but moved too quickly in entering the residence by forcing the door open.

While the idea of federalism can be complicated, these two decisions provide a good example of how the federal system operates and, at times, results in greater rights and protections at the state level than those provided at the federal level. If you are not confused yet, let me throw you a curve ball. The protections of the Pennsylvania Constitution do not apply in a federal prosecution. In other words, even though Chambers may have won in the state system for a violation of his rights under the state constitution, if he were arrested and charged in the federal system, he would not prevail. The divergent rules and rights are a real consideration of law enforcement and can lead to the decision of whether a particular defendant will be charged by a particular state or by the federal government.

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. Aneurysms are pretty scary things. Do they have any symptoms?

Aneurysms are artery bulges. And, yes, they are scary because, if they burst, they are lethal. Many victims of a ruptured aneurysm die before they get to a hospital.

The type and location of the aneurysm will determine the symptoms.

Chest aortic aneurysms, which occur in the large blood vessel (aorta) that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body, may cause shortness of breath, a raspy voice, backache, or shoulder pain.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms may cause pain or tenderness below your stomach, make you less hungry, or give you an upset stomach.

Cerebral aneurysms may produce headaches, pain in your neck and face, or trouble seeing and talking.

Ventricular aneurysms in the heart's main pumping chamber (the left ventricle) may cause shortness of breath, chest pain, or an irregular heart beat.

Fortunately, aneurysms can be detected by a physical examination, x-ray, ultrasound and modern imaging systems such as a CAT scan or an MRI.

The size and location of the aneurysm determines the treatment method. For example, aneurysms in the upper chest are usually operated on immediately. Aneurysms in the lower chest and the area below your stomach are watched at first. If they grow too large or cause symptoms, surgery may be required.

The standard treatment for aneurysm once it meets the indications for surgery is replacement of that weakened portion of the aorta with an artificial graft. Usually, a graft made from Dacron, a material that will not wear out, is used.

In recent years, a treatment has been developed to repair an aneurysm using less-invasive surgery. In the procedure, a stent-graft made of a polyester tube inside a metal cylinder is inserted into the bloodstream at the end of a catheter. The stent-graft is positioned to carry the blood flow instead of the aneurysm.

The following increase the risk of getting an aneurysm: being older than 60, plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, smoking, injuries or infections of the blood vessels, a congenital abnormality, and inherited diseases.

Most aneurysms are caused by a breakdown in the proteins that provide the structural strength to the wall of the aorta. These proteins can gradually deteriorate with age. But inflammation that is associated with atherosclerosis can accelerate this process. There are also naturally occurring enzymes that cause the breakdown of the proteins. An excess of these enzymes or other conditions that activate these enzymes may also contribute to the formation of an aneurysm, or its sudden growth. In rare cases an aneurysm may be caused by infection.

The combination of early diagnosis with safer, simpler, and ever more successful treatments can prevent needless deaths due to ruptured aneurysms. If you think you or one of your family members might have an aortic aneurysm, see a doctor without delay.

If you have a question, please write to


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The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

I’m looking for help to relieve pain through my whole body. I am 72 years old and I have been told by several doctors that I have fibromyalgia. All the doctors give me pain pills and they help a little, but not much. Is there a diet or treatment for fibromyalgia without drugs? (A.O., Uniondale)

Fibromyalgia (pronounce it as “fi-bro-my-al-ja”) is a tough problem, characterized by ongoing pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as a host of other symptoms. There are many explanations and theories as to how it comes about, and many approaches to treating it. Fibromyalgia literally means “pain in muscles and tissues” and is variably used as both a catch-all phrase for undiagnosed pain and as a specific disease with specific diagnostic features.

Rheumatologists, who are physicians that specialize in joint and muscle disease, arrive at the diagnosis of fibromyalgia after thoroughly testing a patient for all other known causes of muscle pain (with negative findings), and after documenting that there is tenderness or pain after a specific amount of pressure applied to specific locations on the body. In other words, to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia appropriately, one has to have a thorough exam and a lot of testing. Fibromyalgia is not a diagnosis to be made haphazardly or off the cuff, as it labels a patient with a permanent and incurable condition.

The fundamental symptom of fibromyalgia is pain and tenderness, and as such it is difficult to treat without medications. On the other hand, many symptoms can be eased if not eliminated through lifestyle changes, diet, activity, vitamins and supplements. Because there are many theories as to its cause, there are many approaches to its treatment. In any case, relying solely on pain medication is not only ineffective, it can also be harmful. A number of medications devised for other problems have been shown to have a role in fibromyalgia, even though they are not specifically designed or labeled for use in that disease.

Among the explanations for fibromyalgia are chemical changes in the brain, similar to those seen in depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, and other chronic pain syndromes. Although an obvious question comes up (“are you depressed because you have fibromyalgia or do you have fibromyalgia because of depression?”), the issue may be simply that disorders of brain and body chemistry can cause both problems, with the chemical disturbance being the cause, and either depression or fibromyalgia being the symptom. Another closely related problem to fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), with similar symptoms of widespread aches and pains, but also a constant disabling fatigue and physical exhaustion. Again, sleep deprivation can cause these symptoms, but the symptoms themselves impair sleep, so a more fundamental explanation (and treatment that targets both) is needed. Injuries, infections, nerve diseases and muscle diseases can also cause fibromyalgia (and chronic fatigue, and depression) and so these must be ruled out as well.

Once a person is diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there are usually a host of medications that are tried. One of the hardest “sells” for me as a prescribing doctor is to convince somebody with fibromyalgia or CFS to take an antidepressant for their symptoms, while understanding that I am not diagnosing them with depression nor telling them that their symptoms are “all in your head.” Because fibromyalgia and CFS are closely related to disorders of brain chemistry, it is only reasonable to use medications that act on brain chemistry to treat them. It may help to know that the dose of antidepressants used for fibromyalgia and CFS is often less than half that used for depression. Your doctor is not dismissing your symptoms or saying they’re “all in your head” when he prescribes antidepressants.

Using pain medications alone, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, narcotics or other string prescription pain medications, is often counterproductive. Fibromyalgia patients treated with these medications can have many serious side effects, and seldom have adequate pain relief. The effects of these medications also tend to “wear off”, while also raising worries of addiction and dependence.

So what else is there? One of the best treatments is low-impact aerobic exercise. Granted, it is tough to get up and exercise when you’re aching, and perhaps that’s where a short course of pain medication may be helpful, but there is clear evidence that even very low levels of exercise (as little as five minutes every other day) is helpful. The initial levels of exercise may be limited, but as time goes on you will be able to increase the intensity as well as the duration. Start with a stationary bicycle, ski machine, or water exercise, and only slowly and gradually advance to things like jogging or tennis. The simplest and cheapest exercise is walking, even if your first efforts are no more involved than a single lap around your house. With time, and consistent effort, you’ll see your ability increase. Fibromyalgia does not cause permanent damage, and so it is safe to say that while your body may hurt with exercise, you won’t be hurting your body.

Because fibromyalgia pain is so closely linked to sleep disturbances, it’s important to avoid other things that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine are very common culprits in sleep disturbance, so try your best to avoid using any of that deadly triad.

Vitamin supplements, especially vitamin C, B-complex, and vitamins A and E are thought to be helpful, but keep in mind that too much vitamin E and A can harm the liver. Don’t take supplements of these vitamins, but be sure you are getting at least the minimum recommended daily allowances. Other non-vitamin, non-medication supplements such as Coenzyme Q-10 and grape seed extract may be helpful as well. Melatonin may help restore sleep, and Valerian is an herbal remedy used to help with relaxation and sleep as well.

Fibromyalgia is not an easy disease for anybody. It’s hard to diagnose properly, it’s hard to treat, and it is very hard to live with. Its hard to thoroughly cover the subject in one column, but the key points are that it is a specific condition, it is treatable, and it won’t result in permanent harm. There are lots of things that can be used to alleviate the suffering it causes, and I’d encourage you to spend some time with your doctor discussing your specific issues and concerns.

As always, if there is something you want to learn more about or have explained in general terms, write to me at “Ask the Family Doctor” c/o Susquehanna County Transcript, 212-216 Exchange Street, Susquehanna, PA 18847. You can also e-mail me at To schedule an appointment, call my office in the Barnes-Kasson Health Center, Hallstead Office, 879-5249.

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Straight From Starrucca
By Margaret M. Dickey

There were twenty-five children who attended the Baptist Vacation Bible School. The concluding exercises were held Sunday, June 18 with the children presenting what they had learned. Father’s Day was also honored with a potluck dinner after the services. It is good to hear of a good and growing Sunday school. Congratulations to all who served in any way. Thanks for the tasty treat of monkey bread.

Thursday, June 29 the Baptist ladies will have a lawn supper at 5 p.m. featuring chicken and biscuits. Donation.

Joy Mead attended the graduation of her grandson, Adam Beam Sunday, June 25 from the Johnson City High School. Adam is the son of Carl and Karen Mead Beam. Congratulations.

The square dance at the Hall last Saturday night was very well attended. The dances will be held monthly all summer, so watch for the dates in a later issue of the County Transcript.

Ruth Mroczka had an entertaining job in Bucks County for a couple of weeks, keeping her daughter’s two doggies in good health while she and her husband were trekking in Greece.

The “Odd Fellows Lodge” members here started serving breakfasts in their hall in Lake Como every Sunday, beginning the 25th of June.

Mentioning “Odd Fellows” brought back some precious memories. My dad was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Sterling, Wayne County. The meetings were held in the O.F. Hall which today belongs to H.O.S.T. – Historians of Sterling Township, so once a month Dad got ready to go to meeting. “Call Charlie and tell him to pick me up,” he said. Charlie was a neighbor and a member of same club. He also was the driver of the “kid wagon” that transported us to school and a square dance caller.

When the formal meeting ended the men would play several hands of pinochle. After that they would go to the general store right next door. John Gillner, owner of store, also the postmaster, either left the door open or told someone where the key was. They would sit around the potbelly stove, eat cheese and crackers, tell stories, leave the money on the counter, lock up and depart.

Of course, Dad got home late so we didn’t get our month’s allotment of candy (only a few cents worth) until next morning. How we savored that candy, knowing we wouldn’t get more until the next O.F. meeting. That’s why we were all so skinny – then.

Robert (Bob) Hines, whose lengthy obituary was in last week’s paper summed a good deal of his adult life. I would like to add a few notes of his younger life.

Bob was a neighbor (as country neighbors go), growing up on Penn Hill just north of us. He was always a shy and quiet person, although those characteristics probably changed as he matured. Bob was a very likeable lad. Like most boys on a farm, he worked hard and held his parents in high esteem for making him do so. He attended the local school, but went to Lakewood for his fourth year as Starrucca was only a three-year high school. Bob liked to play baseball and seriously injured his ankle while playing against Thompson. I’m sure he got his quote of deer, living where they did, as he liked to hunt.

After graduation his obituary tells the rest. He left an array of relatives in Starrucca. His mother was a Penn and sister of Gusta Swartz. Also, through Josephine Penn, the matriarch of the family, he was related to B.F. Skinner, the renowned behaviorist and graduate of Harvard.

As far as I know, he is the only native of Starrucca to be buried in a national cemetery, which will also accommodate his wife.

Surely, God will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” May you rest in peace.


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