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Issue Home June 23, 2010 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Rock Doc Break The Glass, Douse The Flames
What’s Bugging You?
Dear Dolly
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

GIBSON: The severe storm of last Saturday afternoon was felt in many parts of the county and considerable damage was done. The downpour of rain, for a time, seemed like a cloudburst, a huge volume of water falling in a few minutes. Sharp claps of thunder and brilliant flashes of lightning combined to make it one of the most severe storms experienced for some time. At Gibson, the large barn on Andrew Wellman’s farm was struck by lightning and completely destroyed. One of the spires of the Methodist church was struck and demolished and some damage was also done to the interior of the edifice. The bolt did not set fire to anything, which averted a possible conflagration, as the means of fighting fire in the town is limited.

DIMOCK: Canfield Estus, one of the best known residents of Dimock Township, died at his home June 16, following a period of steady decline. The deceased was widely known, having spent practically his entire life in that community and was highly respected. For a number of years he drove the stage between Montrose and Auburn.

RUSH: During the electric storm Friday evening the lightning struck Howard VanDyke’s barn on the M. B. Perigo place, doing considerable damage, and on Saturday afternoon Mr. VanDyke’s new barn, on the A. L. Perigo place, was badly shattered by lightening. Mr. VanDyke had tied his team of horses in the barn during the shower, where they were found in a heap, apparently lifeless, but they recovered from the shock.

SUSQUEHANNA: Edward Johnson, a farmer residing two miles from here, tells a remarkable story of the pranks of a bolt of lightning yesterday. While his team stood by the roadside near his home, lightning struck a telegraph pole close by slitting it in twain. It then ran along the ground nipping two shoes off one of the horses, tore 60 cents out of Johnson’s hand and entered the wagon, crushing a crate of strawberries. Johnson and the horses were uninjured.

HEART LAKE: W. H. Crane, of Binghamton, who is enjoying life at his cottage, “The Crane’s Nest,” at Heart Lake, on Thursday of last week, caught a beautiful 12 pound pike at that popular summer resort, which is causing many other fishermen to dangle their hook and line in hopes to meet with Mr. Crane’s good fortune. This fresh water giant is the largest fish ever recorded as having been pulled out of the lake. A few years ago Mr. Crane caught a pike that weighed 9 3/4 pounds and that fish was then considered the record for the lake. On Thursday he caught a 4 1/2 pound black bass.

BIRCHARDVILLE: For the benefit of those who attended the recent County Christian Endeavor Convention, held in the First Baptist Church, the following historical points may prove of interest: The Middletown Baptist church, of Birchardville, became an organized body in 1812, through the efforts of Elder Davis Dimock of Montrose. Prior to this, and before 1810, Elder Dimock had preached in the Washington schoolhouse and the one near Jesse Birchard’s. His labors continued 13 years, all told, closing in 1825. Elder W.C. Tilden served an unbroken ministry of 22 years in this field. The first meetinghouse at Birchardville was built in 1837, on half an acre of ground, secured from the late Dr. Rose. The edifice has been several times enlarged and attached to it is a quaint old cemetery.

EAST LYNN: Fred Sherman left for Kansas last week, where he has a position offered him paying a large salary.

WEST AUBURN: Mrs. Kilmer, of Corpus Christie, Texas, visited friends last week for the first time in 30 years, and met her brother, John Smith, for the first time since 1869, 41 years ago, each supposing the other dead.

LYNN: Springville and Elk Lake baseball teams crossed bats on the latter’s grounds on Saturday afternoon with a victory for Elk Lake. Just what the score was, the writer was not informed.

S. MONTROSE: John Reynolds, of Tacoma, Washington, is visiting his brother, Richard, he having purchased an automobile in Michigan, and making the trip from there in it.

HOP BOTTOM: There will be a hop at the Valley View House, Hop Bottom, on July 4th, for which splendid music has been engaged. Trippers of the light fantastic toe are very familiar with the many good times had at these hops, and the preparations for the one to be given the evening of the “Ever Glorious,” will make it fully up to the standard. Two ball games will be played and many will take advantage of the games, staying over to the evening’s entertainment.

BROOKDALE: Mrs. George Lindsley and children, of Lawsville, escaped what might have been a serious run away last Sunday afternoon while near I. Comstock’s. One horse became frightened at an auto and started to run and the bit broke. They ran till near L. Tripp’s, where they were stopped.

FAIR HILL, JESSUP TWP.: The Epworth League will hold an ice cream social on the church lawn, Tuesday evening, June 28. One of the attractions of the evening will be balloon ascension.

MONTROSE: Montrose barbers have raised the price of “pompadour” haircuts to fifty cents per head. The prohibitive price is put on because the barbers don’t like to cut them that way. Since the college boys got to combing their hair Jim Corbett style, even the little boys who think they are big want their hair cut in that fashion. It’s a difficult job and the barbers claim they lose money at twenty-five cents per. ALSO In response to a megaphone message from Buffalo Bill, tonsorial artist Ennis Burch went to Binghamton to shave the Big Indian Chief, and the camels, before the circus began.

MONTROSE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CENTENNIAL: The church was organized, Congregational in form, July 3, 1810, with a membership of twelve persons. It became Presbyterian September 12th, 1823. The first house of worship was erected in 1825, and the present one in 1860. The 80th anniversary of its organization was celebrated on Sunday and Monday, July 6th and 7th, 1890. The centennial celebration will take place on the first three days of July next and you are cordially invited to attend.

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

On a Saturday morning in the spring of 1987, I was sitting in the dugout watching my teammates play the second game of a junior varsity double header. I do not recall the reason, but there was an issue with our catcher that day and Coach Bucky Allen was looking for someone to play that position. I told Bucky that one of my friends had been a catcher back in little league - and Bucky decided to put him behind the plate.

Things did not go well. The pitcher was having some control issues and the other team was running the bases with reckless abandon. The other coach realized that our new catcher was struggling - and there was no mercy. It all culminated in a play that has become legendary in our memories. We were sitting there in the dugout chattering away as our pitcher made his delivery - and the runner at first base took off for second. We were screaming “going” in the dugout - and Bucky had just gotten a cup of water and was beginning to sip it. My friend caught the ball behind the plate, jumped up and fired a bullet - to the wrong base! He gunned it to third base when the runner was stealing second. The third baseman was not expecting a throw - and he was looking toward second base - so the ball ended up bouncing down the left field foul line and the runner just kept on running.

As I said, Bucky had just started taking a sip of water as the play was unfolding. When he saw the throw, the water burst from his mouth in an angry spray and he began to sputter. Bucky took his hat off and threw it to the ground, kicked it an impressive distance, and then whipped around back toward home plate. With an exasperated voice, he yelled from the dugout to my poor friend behind the plate: “If you had two brains, one of them would be the loneliest damn thing on the face of the earth.” In the dugout, we were all laughing so hard that eventually Bucky looked over and started to laugh too.

At the time, my friend did not think it was very funny - though he can now appreciate the humor of the entire situation. He never caught in a baseball game again, and I am not sure if he has ever forgiven me for making the suggestion that put him behind the dish that day. On the other hand, we have all told and retold that story so many times that I can say with certainty that it is a priceless memory.

I tell that story to tell you another one - my brother was dismissed as the varsity baseball coach last week after coaching for over a decade, with nine years of that time as the head coach. His dismissal apparently involved a comment that he made in the dugout to his catcher after the kid was struggling with throwing the ball back to the pitcher. The comment involved the use of inappropriate language coupled with the suggestion that the kid should be embarrassed. If you are wondering about the inappropriate language, it was the same adjective used by Vice President Biden during primetime television when he congratulated President Obama on the successful passing of the healthcare bill.

I had the opportunity to coach with my brother as his assistant varsity coach for three years during the 2006, 2007, and 2008 seasons. I was frankly amazed at the amount of time, work and effort that he put into that position. It was so much different than when I played 20 years earlier - back then we simply took batting practice, shagged balls and took fielding practice. My brother took a different approach - he hammered the fundamentals, created different stations for the kids to learn and reinforce the fundamentals of throwing, fielding and hitting - in addition to the normal routine of batting and fielding practice.

He also did the extras for the kids. He began a chicken barbeque fundraiser to get money to take the kids on trips south to play scrimmages early in the spring when there was still snow on the ground here - as well as to buy the kids Montrose Baseball clothing. He also started a winter baseball clinic for younger kids to teach them good fundamentals with the proceeds raised used to support Montrose Baseball. His players have always assisted with the fundraisers - both the barbeque and the clinics. I also watched him work on the maintenance of the baseball field itself - not something normally considering a coaching requirement. He was tireless in his efforts to improve everything about Montrose Baseball.

After 13 years of devotion to Montrose Baseball, he was given about 5 hours notice that the School Board would be considering his dismissal. This is obviously inadequate time to mount any type of meaningful defense - even if you knew exactly what the reasons were for the dismissal - and certainly no time for those who wanted to support him to appear and provide their input to the process. No prior written notice was provided. No written explanation was given. There was not even a coaching evaluation conducted at the end of the season - despite the fact that it is supposed to be done. The previous years of positive coaching evaluations did not matter. No one bothered to discuss the matter with Jeff Shoemaker, his assistant varsity coach - or any of the other former assistant coaches. In a discussion I had with one board member, I was told that none of that mattered. This was a zero tolerance approach - the school board implemented a bright line rule that inappropriate language that demeans a student player will not be tolerated.

I agree with the School Board’s decision that the language was inappropriate, offensive and unacceptable, but simply disagree with the decision to dismiss such a dedicated, knowledgeable and committed coach so summarily for one mistake over the course of a 13-year coaching career. Of course, he is my brother - and my perspective is biased by my love for him. But I know that countless others agree with my assessment, including other coaches, students and players (both current and former).

A few years ago, the School Board recognized Coach Bucky Allen’s contributions to Montrose Baseball when they officially named the baseball field after him to honor his memory - an honor well-deserved and earned. I now wonder what would have happened to Bucky today if he had made the comment he made back in 1987 in our junior varsity game. I shudder to think of what the result might have been because he was such a great coach and an amazing person and it would have been a terrible to have lost him as a coach. I guess things were just different back then.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

A while ago, I wrote a column about my wife, Gale, who told me she was hearing talk radio in her head. I researched this and I’m convinced that Gale is picking up radio signals through her teeth.

In the column, I invited readers to submit their experiences. The following are some accounts from my mailbag. I’m using only first names in case these readers would rather not have anyone else know about the radios in their heads.

I am so glad someone wrote about this, because now I know I’m not as far over the hill as I thought! I have a metal jaw joint. I do not notice the music or talking while there is noise around me. However, when I go to bed at night, I can hear the talking and the radio. It is not clear, and not loud.

I had asked my husband several times if he heard people talking or music playing, and he thinks I am talking in my sleep. I really DO hear the radio and pick it up with my jaw. Now, if only we could tune in the TV, we could get rid of the cable bill!


I had the exact experience picking up TV through my teeth. The first couple of times, I asked my husband if he had left the TV on. That's how clear I could hear it.

The voices were somewhat tinny but very distinct. It was always The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which we never watched. I could hear the guest celebrities being introduced, the jokes, everything. It was completely unnerving.

The next day, I would check the newspaper from the night before and, sure enough, those exact guests were listed. Tell Gale that she is totally sane!


I have been picking up various local radio stations in my head. No one else around me can seem to hear them. It started about six years ago at my parents’ home, which was in the middle of nowhere. I tried turning off everything in the house, even all of the circuit breakers.

Later, I could pick up several different stations at my own house, which is also has no nearby neighbors. Depending on my location in the house, I could hear a Christian station, a talk-radio station, the local rock one, or, very rarely, a country one.

I have no idea what is going on. Sometimes it isn't a big deal; kinda like my own private iPod. But, sometimes, like when it is something I don't like, it's frustrating.


I have experienced this for most of my life and never thought anything of it. I always thought that my mind was simply replaying a song I heard that week or something like that.

My brother told me he has experienced this same thing although I tend to hear hip hop and he hears classical. For both of us, the music we hear is stuff we hadn’t heard before. We do both have metal fillings. I think this is a lot more common than we believe.


What your wife is experiencing actually served as part of the plot of the 1944 Broadway musical "Something for the Boys," with songs by Cole Porter and starring Ethel Merman. This plot synopsis is from The Internet Movie Database:

The oddly assorted Hart cousins: revue singer Blossom, con man Harry, and machinist Chiquita (who gets radio through her teeth!), inherit Southern plantation Magnolia Manor, which alas proves to be a "termite trap" and tax liability. Fortunately, Sgt. Rocky Fulton from a nearby army camp appears with a plan to convert the place to a hotel for army wives; but to pay bills until then, they decide to put on a show. Of course, romantic and military complications intervene.


If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

At this time of year, we are constantly reminded of our country’s history. Memorial Day was originally established to remember those lost in the Civil War, but it now reminds us of the sacrifices of all our military personnel. In just a short time, we will celebrate Independence Day and the very beginnings of our country.

History defines us and is not static. Every year more and more books are printed about important persons and events of our past history. Continuing research provides us greater insights into the lives of our founding fathers and the rationale of our leaders.

I know a computer search can provide you information on our history. I recommend this for short answer. However, for in depth studies of our past, books are better.

The Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association should be one of your first stops in discovering more about the past. The Library has a variety of history books both for adults and children. The Historical Society has an extensive collection of information regarding the everyday lives of the settlers of our county. In this 200th year of the formation of Susquehanna County, the Historical Society has produced a book commemorating this event. This book will be available at the Society’s table in front of the library on July 5.

Please make a visit to the library and expand your knowledge of our past. Remember it is our goal to be your resource for lifetime learning.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Eggs From Near And Far

To me, there’s nothing like a breakfast that involves an egg. That dose of protein, I think, helps me last at work until noon or even beyond the lunch hour if need be.

Like me, you probably often have a dozen eggs on your grocery list. And when you wake up bleary-eyed on a Saturday morning, you face the choice of how you will buy those eggs.

In some parts of the country, there are three choices for procuring eggs. You can buy them at a supermarket, at a local farmers market or directly from a local farm. If you want to support small farms - for any reason - then the second or third choice will be yours. But what if you care most intensely about what are increasingly being called “food miles” and how much energy is used bringing the food from the farm to your doorstep?

Food miles are the number of miles that food has traveled to reach you. It seems intuitively obvious that the lower the number of food miles, the less energy you are causing to be used for your groceries. It’s better to buy food produced near you than food grown across the country, right?

Sadly, intuition does not always agree with reason and arithmetic.

Jude Capper of the Animal Sciences department at Washington State University recently took me through the example of buying eggs from the three sources mentioned above. The numbers that follow are just an example - your numbers would vary.

Let’s say it’s 1.5 miles from a house to the supermarket, 7 miles from that house to the farmers market, and 27 miles from that same house to a local poultry farm that will sell to the public. (Those numbers fit my situation pretty well, although they were chosen by Capper for another location.)

Now let’s think of the food miles of the eggs themselves. In the case of the supermarket, Capper’s example has them coming from 800 miles away in an 18-wheeler. Add the 1.5 miles for a person to get to the store and that’s 801.5 miles of total driving around before the consumer first picks up the eggs.

“Obviously, on the first analysis, the food miles for the supermarket example are looking grim,” says Capper with a laugh.

Even if the semi-truck hauls other goods (like apples) back to where it came from, there’s a lot of traveling involved to get eggs and produce to us.

The farmers market example and the local poultry farm case do involve less traveling for each egg. But there are other issues we want to consider since our real concern likely isn’t food miles itself but how much energy is consumed getting the eggs from the chickens to our frying pans.

Here are two important facts. Let’s say the farmers market eggs get to their sales booth via a pickup truck, and I go back and forth to where I buy my eggs in a car.

I know it may not seem like it, but 18-wheelers are really quite fuel-efficient compared to pickups and cars when you consider all that they haul. Capper tells me they typically get about 5.4 miles on a gallon of diesel (plus, for a refrigerated truck capable of carrying eggs, they burn half a gallon of fuel per hour to keep everything cool). But the trucks move up to 23,400 dozen eggs!

Capper showed me the arithmetic that clearly shows the most energy efficient way for me to buy eggs for my household is to go to the supermarket, essentially relying on that highly efficient 18-wheeler. And that’s not even considering the notion that I’ll likely go to the supermarket anyway, to buy laundry detergent, light bulbs, toothpaste and bottles of eye-drops. (What can I say, I swim a lot.)

There are other reasons to buy locally produced eggs, Capper is quick to point out. You might want to support local agriculture, or you might prefer the taste of eggs from alternative systems. But if energy conservation is your primary concern in what groceries you buy, it pays to reason and go with the numbers rather than following your gut.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. Follow her on the web at and on Twitter @RockDocWSU. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

No What's Bugging You This Week

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Dear Dolly,

Dear Dolly,

As I was getting out of my car yesterday, heading into the mall, I saw a family of three kids and a Mom walking toward me. The Mom was clearly in high gear, dragging on the arm of a struggling boy, all the time yelling, "I'm canceling your birthday party tomorrow. You have been so bad. I'm calling every one of your friends and telling them not to come. Your party is canceled! No birthday party for you because you are so bad!” The boy, probably 8 or 9, had a stricken, the sky is falling, look on his face as he kept saying, "No, no, Mom, please, don't do that." She repeated the no birthday party threat a few more times as I continued into the store.

I have no idea what the kid did. I just know in my heart, whatever it was, it couldn't have been as bad as the behavior I had just witnessed from the mother. It just made my heart ache to hear a supposedly loving parent, resort to such a drastic threat. I resisted interfering, but boy did I want to give her a piece of my mind. What should I have done? The incident stayed in my mind, for the rest of the day. -Twilla

Dear Twilla,

You did the right thing. Sometimes you just need to keep on walking. Most of us have witnessed parental cruelty while out in public and we question our right to intervene. This mother was mentally abusing her 3 children - don't think the other two weren't terrorized too - and not physically damaging them. One is as bad as the other in my opinion. Still, you can't hope to reason with someone who is that angry. Attempting to do so could have made the matter worse.

All Transcript readers are welcome to submit their questions to Dear Dolly at

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

No Earth Talk This Week

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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