HomeColumnists ( August 17, 2022 )

100 Years Ago

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

West Auburn – The class in home hygiene and care of the sick, under the instruction of Miss Platt, is progressing nicely and much interest is manifested. The class is held on Friday afternoons in Grange Hall.

Pleasant Valley – Perry Schoonover has sold his tame fox to a party in Sidney, NY.

Bear Swamp – Reading the account of the terrible thing that happened at Bear Swamp brought to mind that my boyhood home was near that swamp. At that time there was a hotel there called the Bear Swamp House. It was a pretty rough sort of place. The old stage line on the Owego and Milford turnpike passed through this place. I remember seeing the old stage coaches, with their four horses and driver sitting up high, with his long whip. They changed horses every ten miles. I enlisted in Capt. John C. Morris' company at Friendsville. We were attached to the 143rd PA Regt. after the battle of Antietam. I was a prisoner of war at Andersonville and Florence for several months. I have lived in Southern California for nearly 7 years. I hope someday to see dear old Montrose again. Frank E. Foster, Long Beach, Cal.

Forest City – One dead and two seriously injured represented the toll of an automobile accident on the road to Crystal Lake, one mile from here, yesterday afternoon, when a five-passenger touring car, carrying nine persons, overturned as a result of the snapping of the rear axle and the loss of a wheel. Lawrence Gardine, aged 11, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Gardine, of Hudson street, died shortly after the accident from a fractured skull. According to the survivors, the car, driven by the dead boy's father, was not traveling at an excessive rate of speed. The snapping of the axle occurred along a level stretch of road and was followed by quick skidding as the car turned turtle. The passengers were pinned beneath the machine.

Brooklyn – The Ladies' Musical club was pleasantly entertained at the home of the Misses Gere on Friday afternoon. The story of the opera "Tannhauser" was given by Mrs. Fitch and musical selections from the opera were rendered by Mesdames Wilmarth, Griswold, Smith and Terry. A sketch of the life of Wagner was given by Mrs. W.S. Tiffany and a whistling solo by Mrs. S.B. Stephens. A most pleasant afternoon was enjoyed.

Montrose – Some new books at the library include: Furniture of the Olden Times, by Morse; Daughter of the Middle Border, by Hamlin Garland (this book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize of $1000 for the best biography teaching patriotic and unselfish service to the people); On the Rim of the World, by Smith J. Patterson; Silver Box, by Galsworthy; and Breaking Point, by Rinehart. ALSO An interesting picture at the Ideal Theatre, Saturday evening, will demonstrate the working of the new burglar alarm at the Farmers National Bank.

Heart Lake – The Troubadours are scheduled to play at Heart Lake Resort again on the 23rd of August. The Wednesday night dances, which are held every other week, are special and do not interfere with the regular Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night dances, for which the "Arlington Jazz" furnishes the music. The auto ride to Heart Lake over the fine roads, attracts young people from long distances.

Transue – F.L. Peet has the water pumped from the well into his house.

Friendsville – A very sad funeral took place here on August 8th, when Miss Anna Foran was laid to rest, with memories that were dear to all who knew her. The corpse was followed to the church with a host of friends. After the Mass, Father Ruddy spoke of this girl's beautiful character, saying Miss Foran should be an example for those still living. The beautiful singing by Prof. Warner and Mrs. Helen Bolan was very much appreciated.

Springville – Mrs. Mary Stone, who resides with her daughter, Mrs. A.B. Tuttle, celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday. Though quite lame from rheumatism, Mrs. Stone occasionally walks down town and back.

Great Bend – What might have been a serious accident was narrowly averted at the Keystone Farm. Eugene Carl, who was cutting brush with a brush scythe, had been accompanied to the field by his little son, James, who was standing near by. One brush was particularly hard to cut and Mr. Carl swung his entire weight on the scythe. The brush was swept away and as the father swung around he was horrified to see that the boy had moved nearer to him and was in direct range of the sharp scythe. He partially succeeded in stopping the movement but the sharp point struck the boy over the ear and forehead cutting a deep gash. Mr. Carl rendered first aid and Dr. Merrill was summoned. It required several stitches to close the wound but it is thought that the lad's forehead will not be disfigured to any extent. It was a close call from being a very serious accident.

West Lenox – The Tingley reunion was held last Thursday at the log cabin on M.R. Tingley's farm.

Nicholson – Editor H.T. Birchard (Henry) has a wide circle of friends here who always greet him cordially. He is the dean of newspaper men of northeastern Pennsylvania and his pen retains the old-time punch.

Franklin Forks – We can think of no one who would do more to make his fellow man comfortable and happy than our good friend, Will Bailey, of this place. And he has now entered upon an enterprise which should bring real pleasure to many here – that of furnishing "real," Jersey cream, which is on sale at Estus & Tiffany's Meat Market. The ladies say this cream "whips" splendidly. Anything coming from W.B. can be depended upon as okay.

County Veterans Association: The 54th annual encampment of the Susquehanna County Veterans' Association, which was held Aug. 11th on the Montrose Fair grounds, proved to be another entirely successful and enjoyable occasion. Fifty-one veterans of the Civil War, 17 widows, 10 sons, 43 daughters, 13 DAR's and 160 guests were present. The camp-fire was most enjoyable and satisfactory, replete with impromptu speeches and camp and army songs. Fifty-one old veterans, between the ages of 76 and 87, with their wives and seventeen soldiers' widows, seated at one table, is a rare and pleasing sight for these times. May they all attend the next encampment.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Jesus Dejesus-Gonzales had his 12-year-old niece sleep over at his residence. Dejesus-Gonzales and his niece slept in the same bed. His niece woke up to her uncle touching her in a sexually abusive manner. When Dejesus-Gonzales discovered that his niece was no longer sleeping, he offered her five dollars if she would not tell anyone what he had done.

The next day, the niece reported the abuse to a volunteer at a local community center. In response to this disclosure, the volunteer properly contacted the police, the allegations were investigated and criminal charges were filed. The matter proceeded to trial, Dejesus-Gonzales was convicted and sentenced to a period of incarceration of 10 to 20 years. He then filed an appeal contending that during the trial the prosecutor had impermissibly infringed upon his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

During the trial, the investigating detective testified that he sought to interview Dejesus-Gonzales after he had received the allegations from the victim. When confronted by the detective, Dejesus-Gonzalez stated that he was asleep throughout the night and that he did not know anything about the allegations. This discussion occurred on the porch of a private residence where the detective had found Dejesus-Gonzalez. The detective then when on to describe that Dejesus-Gonzalez was backing off the porch, then onto the sidewalk and finally into the street in an effort seemingly designed to get away from the detective. When the detective asked Dejesus-Gonzalez if he would come to the police station to be interviewed, the detective recalled that Dejesus-Gonzalez continued to back away and that he refused to come to the station to be interviewed.

At this point, Dejesus-Gonzalez's defense counsel raised an objection based upon the detective suggesting to the jury, though the testimony, that Dejesus-Gonzalez's refusal to talk to him further was indicative of his guilt. Defense counsel noted that a prosecutor may not use a defendant's silence as evidence of guilt. Defense counsel then requested a mistrial. The trial court denied the request for a mistrial but provided the jury with this instruction: "Everyone has a right not to talk to the police. Everyone, me, you, the deputy, the attorneys. Anyone has the right not to talk, or not feel compelled, or not talk to a police officer. You will not draw any negative inference against [Dejesus-Gonzalez] because of that initial reaction that he had when he communicated with the officer."

The Superior Court acknowledged that every citizen has a constitutional right to remain silent – no government actor can compel a citizen to provide any self-incriminating statement. Further, a prosecutor "may not use silence as substantive evidence of guilty when a defendant chooses not to testify. . . . [That silence] may also not be used against a defendant who remained silent during the investigation of a crime." With that general rule having been noted, the Superior Court observed any that "the Fifth Amendment protects against the prosecutor's exploitation of a defendant's right to remain silent."

In reviewing this case, the Superior Court determined that the detective's testimony provided a narrative as to the initial contact itself with Dejesus-Gonzalez – and that Dejesus-Gonzalez actually spoke with the detective and denied any knowledge of the event itself. Thus, the Superior Court concluded that no implication of guilt could be inferred from his decision to walk away from the detective when he had already told the detective that he had no knowledge about the incident. Significantly, because the defense attorney had objected before the testimony went further, and the trial court provided a curative instruction making clear to the jury that they could not consider Dejesus-Gonzalez's silence as evidence of guilt, the Superior Court concluded that the trial court properly denied the motion for a mistrial.

As a prosecutor, I was always careful to make sure that the law enforcement witnesses were instructed to not comment upon a refusal of a defendant to make a statement or to be interviewed. Whenever a prosecutor's examination strays into this particular area, you are playing with the proverbial constitutional fire – and you could easily get burned. Conversely, defense attorneys must likewise be careful in how they question law enforcement concerning the thoroughness of an investigation as such questioning may "open the door" for the police office to explain to a jury that additional information was sought from the defendant but the defendant refused to speak with the police. If such testimony is inadvertently blurted out, as occurred in this case, the best practice tip is to seek the trial court's intercession to make clear to the jury that no inference of guilt may ever attach to the decision to exercise a constitutional right.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Summer's in full swing. And the boys are livin' large!

Jim came into the pharmacy, glanced from side to side, and walked up to the pharmacist. "Hey, Doc, you got a minute to talk privately?" The pharmacist motioned for Jim to join him in the counseling room. "How can I help?" asked the pharmacist. Jim cleared his throat nervously and said, "My cousin, Joe, came back from his doctor and announced that he had 'summer penis.' I looked it up on my phone, and it seems to be a real thing. Something to do with the sun making the penis bigger. His doctor said to put Benadryl cream on it, and she gave him a prescription for an antibiotic. I think a summer penis would be a good thing. But Joe says it itches like crazy."

Then, it hit the pharmacist what Jim was talking about. "Do you mean 'summer penile syndrome'? Did your cousin mention anything about chigger bites?" the pharmacist asked. "Yes! He did say that his ankles were also itching." The pharmacist explained to Jim that "summer penis" and "summer penile syndrome" were actual "things." Aside from the Internet, where one can find all sorts of true and false information, People Magazine and the Huffington Post ran soft-core stories about the summer penis. According to both rags, vacation time hog is a May-to-September rise and fall in girth and length caused by the sun's heat. Men love it.

Conversely, summer penile syndrome is a painful swelling of the penis due to chigger bites. Men love it not. A chigger, for those of us who need the rock-hard facts, is a tiny mite. Its larvae live on the skin of warm-blooded animals – or hot-blooded animals like Jim's cousin – where they irritate the skin. And what better place for a baby chigger to spend its formative minutes than when a guy is swinging free and easy? Unlike lice, which burrow into the skin and suck blood, chiggers feed on juicy skin cells. Itching starts about 3 to 6 hours after they bond with one's Balzac and can hang around for up to 14 days. Clawing the croakies often removes the mite and satisfies the itch, hence the Benadryl. But vigorous scratching can result in a secondary infection, thus the antibiotic.

"Jeez, Louise," exclaimed Jim. "Sounds nasty!" "Oh, it can get worse," replied the pharmacist. He pointed out to Jim that the secondary infection could be typhus. This bacterial disease causes a high fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. "No wonder Joe was not as thrilled as I was when I thought he said it was summer penis."

Getting back to man's BFF, a summer schlong may just be wishful thinking – sort of a pipe dream, if you will. One's penis could appear to be larger because, in warm environments, blood vessels expand. As a result, one may be more likely to fill one's shaft to full capacity during warmer months. "I wonder if guys in Australia have "winter penis" when it's hot Down Under," Jim mused. The pharmacist was unsure whether "summer penis" was universal or not. Although he noticed that condom sales have ballooned since July 4th. Especially those that are the size of Hefty Bags. "So, it's like going from a C cup to a double D for gals," Jim wisely observed. "I guess I am kind of a year-round guy," Jim continued. "No seasonal fluctuations here!"

As fascinating as this conversation was, the pharmacist had to get back to the business at hand. "Hey, Doc," Jim said. "You know that old song 'Theme from a Summer Place'?" Don't say it, Jim. Do. Not. Say. It. "We could change the name to 'Theme from a Summer Penis'!" And for the rest of the day and far into the night, the pharmacist could hear that song in his brain. "There's a summer place. Where it may rain or storm. Yet I'm safe and warm…."

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

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Town Bear, Country Bear

By Shannon Madden

Black and brown bears are one of the natural wonders that we love about living in Pennsylvania. Since most of the state is considered "bear country" we have to get used to living with how bears impact us and how we impact them.

Earlier this year I wrote about bear safety protocols. It's extremely important that we all know what to do if we happen upon a bear on the trail. Sometimes, though, Smokey's curious cousins wander out of the woods where they forage. Human dwellings with their offering of weekly take-out bins tempt them to forage in town and sometimes too close for comfort.

What to Do When a Bear Visits Your Trash

A bear sighting in town is usually cause for quite a buzz among the residents. It can be frightening and a nuisance! Here are two important steps you need to take.

Leave it alone. As you would do on the trail, don't approach the bear. Don't let any pets out while the bear is in sight.

Report it to the appropriate regional Game Commission office. They are the ones responsible for capturing and relocating errant bears.

Locking Down Your Trash Cans

There are many waste bin technologies and strategies you can employ including bear resistant bins, trash can enclosures, electric fences, scent deterrents, etc. I'll go into some detail about a few that are easy to try for rural town residents.

Scents that bears hate. Bears follow their noses, so including some scents that they find unpleasant may cause them to pass over your cans. A few things to try are bleach, ammonia-based cleaners, and pine-scented cleaners. Wash down your outdoor trash cans regularly to keep the clean scent strong enough to overpower or at least match the trash smell.

Bear resistant trash cans. You can purchase a bear deterring garbage can or DIY your current receptacle into something more difficult for bears to deal with.

In our town, we have the type of trash service where a robotic arm on the truck picks up the cans. Consequently, we can't have locking lids. But the height of the cans and weight of the lid has dramatically cut down on access for cats, dogs, and raccoons. I haven't cleaned up a scattered trash mess in years.

A bear would be a different story though. If we ever have a bear problem, I'd probably resort to using pine scented cleaner on my bins to deter the bears.

Trail Connection

If you've ever encountered a complicated receptacle on a trailhead or in a park, the goal is to lock down the trash like Fort Knox. The key is to use the apparatus correctly. A National Park Service Ranger once quipped that there is an unfortunate overlap between the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.

While cleaning up after a bear or other animal has enjoyed a garbage smorgasbord is no fun, the primary goal of keeping them out is not convenience. We don't want wild animals to habituate to eating human leftovers. It's not good for their health and increases the possibility of interactions between people and wildlife. The Game Commission has a saying that fed bears become dead bears. Using methods to keep animals out of the trash is safer for them and for us.

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