HomeColumnists ( July 28, 2021 )

100 Years Ago

By Betty Smith, Susquehanna County Historical Society, Montrose, PA

Lenoxville – Orchestra dance, five pieces, at Stephens' Hall, Friday evening, July 29. Music furnished by Nicholson's Select Five. Round and square dances. Come and bring your friends. Go where the crowd goes. Bill for dance, war tax included, $1.00.

Hop Bottom – On Saturday afternoon an automobile party visited Elk Mountain and climbed to the summit for a picnic lunch. Included in the party were the following: Mrs. A. J. Taylor, Mrs. Joe West, Miss Lillian Byram, Mrs. C. A. Corson, Mrs. C. A. Tingley, Mrs. Frank Doran, Miss Grace Doran, Morgan Taylor and Edward Evans, whose Pierce-Arrow touring car carried the entire party on this delightful ride to the mountain, which should be a noted resort, being next to the highest point in the state of Pennsylvania. A magnificent view of the surrounding country can be seen from this place.

Ararat Twp. – Forest Hobbs met with a painful accident last Saturday, his hay fork becoming unfastened, dropped down, striking him in the muscle of the arm, piercing to the bone. It will bother him for several days probably. AND In South Ararat – There were never so many campers at the pond as at present and more would be glad to come if there were more cottages. Wonder more wouldn't be built to accommodate people who would love to come to such a beautiful body of water.

Montrose – The Library will hold a Noveltonian Lawn Fete on the grounds of George Carlton Comstock during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, Aug. 10. The word "noveltonian" may be safely assured to cover a great variety of most entertaining features.

Royal, Clifford Twp. – Royal has a new business place, C. H. West having opened a store in which he will carry groceries, cigars, candy, ice cream, soft drinks and sandwiches. Mr. West is very popular and will, undoubtedly, do a good business. His store is located on the main road from South Gibson to Clifford and Carbondale, used by large numbers of tourists, and this stand will be greatly appreciated.

Fairdale – A large crowd assembled at the Grange Hall for a farewell party for Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Olmstead, who are soon to leave for State College, where Mr. Olmstead has accepted a position in the dairy extension department of the college. It is with much regret that we see this estimable couple leave us. ALSO Glen Cronk is wearing a broad smile these days – cause – a brand new baby girl arrived Saturday, July 23, 1921 – Clara Jean.

Brooklyn – The four corners at the foot of Maple Street, near the feed store of Doran & Ely, was the scene of an automobile accident at about 7 o'clock on Sunday evening when H. W. Roper's Buick touring car and a Buick roadster driven by a Scranton party, crashed together. Each car contained but two passengers and none of the four were seriously injured, which is extremely fortunate. Mr. Roper sustained some bruises and minor injuries, while the woman in the roadster was cut on the head and became unconscious for a short time, but prompt attention from Dr. T. O. Williams enabled her to continue her journey to Scranton that evening in another car. Mr. Roper was driving his car down the hill past the M. E. Church, and the roadster, driven by a Mr. Lavelle, was on the state road, going towards Scranton. The feed store, which is on the southwest corner, obstructed the view of each driver and the crash came as a severe shock to both. It is evident to all that danger signs should be conspicuously posted in each direction from this corner to prevent future accidents at this place.

Thompson – O. P. Walker is now completing one of the finest dairy barns in the county. It is to be modernly equipped, with 32 cow stalls, water bowls, etc.

Hallstead – H. O. Bullard drove to Niagara Falls on a three day trip via Watkins Glen and the Seneca Lake region recently, driving his seven passenger Moon touring car. In the party were Dr. and Mrs. E. E. Tower, of Hallstead, and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Tower and family of Trenton, NJ. One of the remarkable things about the trip was that the fan belt came off and the entire trip was made without it and with no trouble from a hot engine, even on the hills.

Harford – There will be a farmers' picnic on the Fair Grounds, August 20th. Prominent speakers will be present; the merry-go-round will be in operation and a good time is expected. The picnic will be an all-day affair, lasting from about 11:00am to 4:00pm. Bandmaster Ben Jewett has promised the Brooklyn Band, which is considered the best band in the county. The South Montrose Grange Quartette will give a few selections. The Master of the County Pomona Grange, N. H. Wilmarth, has arranged a big baseball game between teams representing the eastern and western parts of the county. The eastern team will be built up around the Harford team and the western team will likely be composed of Dimock and Rush players. The Ladies' Aid of Harford will supply refreshments and lunches for those who do not bring their own lunches.

Auburn – A little son of M. L. Lake, the livestock dealer of this place, was badly injured Saturday by a kick in the forehead by a horse, which he was driving in unloading hay with a hay fork. He was taken to a Binghamton hospital Sunday. He is thirteen years old.

Court News: Thirteen divorce hearings were on the list for Tuesday. Fred Knapp, who is suing for divorce, made a sensation in court while in the witness chair, by fainting. His wife did not appear. Their troubles had not been exciting according to the evidence, but she did not like to live where he worked and simply deserted. [If this is the correct Fred Knapp, according to the 1920 census, he lived at Silver Lake and owned a sawmill.]

Back to Top

Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Natalia Marshall was in a romantic relationship that turned into an abusive one. She obtained a protective order to keep her ex-boyfriend away from her. After the issuance of the protective order, her ex-boyfriend was arrested and charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm, he made bail, failed to appear in court and a warrant was outstanding for his arrest. Given those circumstances, Natalia feared for her safety and decided to purchase a handgun for personal protection. Natalia grew up in a household where firearm safety was taught and she had good familiarity with both long guns and handguns. Then Natalia discovered that she could not purchase the handgun from a licensed dealer because federal law prohibited the sale of a handgun to any person under 21 years of age.

Natalia filed a federal lawsuit contending that her fundamental right to keep and bear arms protected under the Second Amendment was violated by the arbitrary age restriction. The federal law in question dates back to 1964 and was based upon Congressional hearings where it was suggested that federally licensed dealers were selling handguns to "emotionally immature, or thrill-bent juveniles and minors prone to criminal behavior." Thus, Congress determined it was necessary to prohibit all federally licensed dealers from selling handguns to any person under 21 years of age – but the dealers could continue to sell rifles and shotguns to the same "emotionally immature" juveniles. Further, while such handguns could not be sold to a person under 21, the law did not prohibit a person under 21 years of age from possessing a handgun.

In reviewing the law, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that the Second Amendment's fundamental purpose was to enshrine and protect "the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense or hearth and home." But do the Second Amendment's protections extend to 18-year-old citizens like Natalia? The Fourth Circuit answered this simply: "First, nothing in the text of the Second Amendment limits its application by age. Second, the most analogous rights to the Second Amendment, those in the First and Fourth Amendments, similarly contain no age limits. Third, most other constitutional rights are not age limited. And fourth, the few rights that may not apply to those under 18 or that change by age are not analogous to the Second Amendment, and most of those rights become applicable at age 18, not 21." In making these observations, the Fourth Circuit noted that it did not suggest that the Second Amendment would apply to those under 18 – the case did not involve that consideration – rather, there was nothing to suggest that the Second Amendment right did not extend to those who have reached the age of majority.

In reaching this conclusion, the Fourth Circuit looked to the militia laws in place at the time the Second Amendment was ratified to verify that the Founders intended for the Second Amendment to protect 18-year-old citizens. Most colonies/states allowed for 16-year-old males to enlist in a militia – and all of the colonies/states allowed 18-year-old males to enlist. Indeed, many of the colonies/states actually had mandatory enlistment requirements, i.e., 18-year-olds were required to join the militia. Further, the firearms used by the militia were generally owned privately, i.e., the 16-year-old or 18-year-old citizen would bring his firearm with him when he enlisted for militia service – and use that personal firearm while serving in the militia. With this historical backdrop, the Fourth Circuit found that the Second Amendment plainly applied to 18-year-old citizens.

But just because something is a protected constitutional right does not mean that the government cannot restrict or regulate it. In order to demonstrate that the regulation is constitutional, the government must demonstrate that there is a "reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and the substantive government objective." Thus, the question became whether Congress had found a "reasonable fit" in the regulation of handgun sales to minors – and we will take a look at that next week.

Back to Top

How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Naptime – How long is too long?

We have experienced times when yawns are contagious. You yawn, then your spouse yawns. The dog yawns, then the cat yawns. During any given church service, one can witness an eruption of yawns, with the second altar boy on the left identified as Patient Zero. Scientists have studied the causes of these infectious involuntary reflexes. The results have been, thus far, sleep-inducing.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Myers. How's it going?" the pharmacist asked the gentleman. However, Mr. Myers was in the middle of a yawn – an oscitance so cavernous that the pharmacist could see all of the man's dental work. This event triggered a yawn-quake inside the pharmacist's mouth that could not be stifled with all the jaw pressure he could muster. "Pardon me, doc," said Mr. Myers. "I just got up from my after-lunch nap." The pharmacist looked at the wall clock: 5:20pm. "You must have had a late lunch," the pharmacist remarked. "Nope, I took a 4-hour nap, like I do most days."

Napping is restorative. Babies take naps because both their cognitive and physical abilities are growing exponentially. And they become darn cranky if they do not get about 40,000 winks a day. Older people take wee naps for an extra boost of energy and to downshift while they coast through a busy world. However, the extremely long naps may be the signal of something else.

According to research presented at the 2020 European Society of Cardiology conference, naps longer than 60 minutes on a regular basis could result in early death and a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. Conversely, naps that are 60 minutes or shorter taken once or twice a week may, in fact, be beneficial for heart health.

Adults need about 6 to 10 hours of sleep PER NIGHT, says the National Sleep Foundation. Unless Mr. Myers stays up all night, his daytime marathon naps are robbing him of healthy nighttime sleep. "I like getting up at 3:00am to watch The Honeymooners." He told the pharmacist. "Why don't you just DVR it so you can watch it during the day?" the pharmacist asked. "Because I am up at 3:00am when it's on," he replied as if that was a rational answer. So, let's say a typical person gets 8 hours of sleep a night with no daytime naps. That person is likely functional throughout the day. However, if you chop it into a 4-hour session at night and a 4-hour afternoon nap, the revitalizing benefits of sleep are eroded. Research shows that people who fragment their sleep patterns are at higher risks for unicycle accidents and falling down elevator shafts. Why? Because they are not sufficiently awake to pay attention to whatever the heck they are doing.

So why does Mr. Myers, 67, take naps so excessive that they devour a significant chunk of his day? He just retired. So, is he bored? Is he blocking out unwanted thoughts? Is he depressed? Most sleep disorder specialists agree that depression does not result in daytime sleepiness. Just the opposite. Clinical depression is typically linked to insomnia. The untreated person with depression would kill his canary for a nap. Yet, the unrelenting noises in his brain say no. The pharmacist flipped through Mr. Myers' drug list to see if there were any clues. But there were no sedatives, sleeping pills, or even heart meds that might pummel his sleep architecture into a pile of rubble.

The best advice is for Mr. Myers to have a sit-down with his physician. Mrs. Myers must notice her husband's patterns (unless she is having an affair with the pool boy). She would be the person the pharmacist would gingerly contact to broach the subject. She may not think his nap habits are odd, but they can have severe effects on his heart. "We all have to take care of each other," the pharmacist thought as he greeted his next patient, with a smile. Not a yawn.

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a recovering pharmacist and writer-in-residence at Rx-Press.

Back to Top

The Ripple Effect

By Valerie Senese

Mother Teresa, a Catholic saint who is world renown for her dedication to charity, has been credited with much of todays progress in humanitarian aide and is a major inspiration for volunteerism. It is debated as to whether or not she has said, "I cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples". From signs, to cards and bumper stickers, she is quoted as the author of these words. However, according to, a website last updated in 2010, they say these claims are untrue. Arguments aside, everyone can recognize that it would be more than fitting for a woman such as Mother Theresa to have said them.

This week's volunteer spotlight is on Kathy Matis, a resident of the Susquehanna area who was predominantly nominated for her volunteerism for the Susquehanna Community Development Association, also known as the SCDA, summer events series Rockin' by the River. Bringing music, food, and fun to the new Ira-Reynolds River Front Park is a feat of its own, but quite honestly, this is really a recent cherry on the top for a seasoned volunteer like herself.

Kathy began volunteering some 40 years ago with the Saint John's Parish Church in Susquehanna, with music ministry. In high school she got hooked on a folk group that blossomed over the years to helping with a children's choir, men's choir and the church choir. This was the birthplace of her personal volunteer life. Although, she admits she was no stranger to the effects of the trade. She described her parents as community minded volunteers who gave of their time to be involved locally through active volunteerism.

As Kathy moved on from high school, she chose a profession that highlighted her desire to serve others and so, she became a teacher. From the elementary school, to technology integration and then subbing once she retired, she chose a career that placed an emphasis on her desire to give to others.  She certainly didn't walk the community mindfulness route alone. She spoke of her husband, Joe Matis, with high regard as she mentioned his work for 40 plus years with the Susquehanna County Redevelopment Authority. Kathy and her husband have three children together, Mike, Julie and Ellen.

Would it be a surprise to know that each of her children have carried the baton of volunteerism and community mindfulness? Each of her children are volunteer super heroes who have deepened and widened the positive change within the waters of life, both locally and areas like Bellefonte, PA and Johnson City, NY.

It's no small feat drawing accomplishments and service out of a volunteer. When asked, on the spot all they have done, they typically forget and focus on the most recent work they are dedicated to, and Kathy is no different. She smiled and rattled off a few things, like helping with programs at the local school, serving on the Susquehanna County Library Board, previously serving as a board member for the Montrose Adult School program and volunteering as a teacher, and being a board member with the SCDA. However, as time went on, she would nonchalantly add tid-bits of information about the many local committees she serves on and the local projects she has dedicated time to, and causes she has supported through the years. As a vibrant and humble volunteer, she aspires to help Susquehanna move forward. Currently, she wants to help build a community that encourages young people to get involved, so Susquehanna can continue the positive movement created by volunteers of days gone by.

As a multi-generational volunteer, I asked her what she would say to a young person, or someone in general looking for advice on volunteerism. Her answer was, "Don't be discouraged with small steps. Ideas will get shot down and things that you hoped would be successful don't always come to fruition. However, any progress can be rewarding on a personal level and for the community". Take it from a second-generation volunteer who raised three other volunteers- don't get discouraged, get out there and make an impact. Just because you may not be able to accomplish the exact goal you set out to do, does not mean your time and effort didn't achieve great accomplishments. Like the debated Mother Teresa quote, "I cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples".

Volunteering creates ripples so wide they can hardly ever be tracked, but they are always felt by someone.

Back to Top