HomeColumnists ( November 30, 2022 )

100 Years Ago

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

New Milford – The funeral of David Nelson Hardy, at New Milford, Nov. 17, 1922, brought hundreds from far and near and is said to have been the largest ever held in the village. It is estimated that close to a thousand people joined in paying last respects to one of the county's most highly respected citizens. Two services were held in his honor, one at twelve o'clock in the M.E. church here and at the Tower church at West Lenox. Mr. Hardy was as widely known, perhaps, throughout the county as any man, since Hon. Galusha A. Grow, having lived practically all his life within the county. He was a familiar figure at all public gatherings and will be greatly missed, especially in New Milford where he was known as everybody's friend, often referred to as New Milford's "Grand Old Man." Music and tributes were paid to Mr. Hardy's memory and survivors of the Civil War were present from Montrose, New Milford, Nicholson, Kingsley, Hop Bottom and Lenox. The frankness and enthusiasm in his advanced years were but reflections of the patriotic ardor of youth, when, in 1862, he secretly, in the cold, wintery blast of February, removed his clothing and swam across the Tunkhannock Creek which was high and turbulent from a winter freshet, to go to Benton, where he enlisted as a private in Co. A., 107th PA Volunteers. He served from Feb. 12, 1862 to Feb. 12, 1863, when he was honorably discharged because of disability resulting from wounds received in battle. He fought at Cedar Mountain, Rapidan Ford, Bristol Station, Front Royal, Second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam. His intimate comrades in the service were: Russell Phillips, A.A. Collins, Jerauld Conrad, Ira Hardy, his brother, E.W. Pearce and James Kennedy. Mr. Hardy was the last of this group to survive. He was Past Commander of Capt. Lyons Post, No. 85, GAR As a father and husband his loved ones will never cease to speak of him affectionately. As a citizen and neighbor, to know him was to esteem him highly. As a patriot and comrade, his love for the "Boys in Blue" was like that of David for Jonathan. You have seen a great pine tree standing on some lofty eminence, silhouetted against the sky. Storms may break down the saplings and they are not missed in the distance, but when the great pine fell the whole landscape was altered. David Nelson Hardy was the great Pine.

Montrose – The King's Daughters are planning for a Community Christmas Tree to be held in Montrose, in front of the Court House, where appropriate exercises will be held on Christmas afternoon, Dec. 25th. Community carol singing will be a very pleasing feature. It is hoped to make singing of carols by the community choirs and Sunday schools, together with all the music loving townspeople, a prominent feature of the happy event. ALSO Dr. Molineux and Miss Walker, of Binghamton, assisted by Dr. Austin, of Laceyville, and Drs. Preston and Gardner, Montrose, performed a successful operation on Ida Wooten at her home, No. 1 Chestnut Street, Tuesday. She had been suffering with appendicitis for several days. She is resting comfortably at this writing. Mrs. Rohback, a trained nurse from Binghamton, is caring for her.

Lynn – The stately brick residence of Charles Sheldon, of Lynn, was ruined by fire last Thursday morning. Defective electric wiring is given as the cause of the fire. The financial loss will be large, there being but $2500 on the property. The Sheldon family is now occupying a house owned by Wesley Baker, nearby. Mr. Sheldon will rebuild in the spring, we understand.

Fair Hill – John Valentine says he is going out of the goose business when they do not bring more than chickens. ALSO Anyone wishing a fine goose for Christmas, call Kate Cruse on 16-8, as she has some dandies.

St. Joseph – Byrne Brothers, who have an auto supply store at 28 Henry Street, Binghamton, are distributors for the Doscat Tire in several counties. Extraordinary qualities are claimed for the Doscat tire, one of which is their freedom from side skidding on wet pavements, as elaborated upon in an advertisement.

Clifford/Carbondale – The snag in the building of the concrete road between Carbondale and Clifford has been removed. Citizens of Carbondale, Clifford, Lenox and other places, pledging $1735 to reimburse the County Commissioners of Lackawanna county for any money that the county may be obliged to pay Chas. Snyder for damages arising from the building of the road, a condition being that the County Commissioners must put up a stiff fight against paying damages to Snyder, whose claim, they hold, is unreasonable.

Jackson – The Young People's Class was entertained at the home of their teacher, Mrs. B.E. Leonard. The evening was spent in games and music. The excellent supper was enjoyed by all. It was decided at the business meeting to buy little chairs and a table for the little folks in the Sunday school. There will be another meeting during the holiday season at the home of Mrs. Arland Pease.

Lanesboro – John Carrigg, aged about 65 years, died suddenly while attending to his duties as operator at the Erie signal tower, near this place, at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 22, 1922. He is survived by his wife; one sister, Mrs. Armstrong, of Brandt; one brother, in Buffalo.

Brooklyn – Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Rozell and father and mother, had a very narrow escape from death, when some part of their auto broke, throwing them out of the machine and the machine turning over, pinning one of the occupants under until assistance arrived.

Uniondale – John White's barn, on what is known as the Zenas Rounds place, was consumed by fire Monday evening. It contained a large quantity of hay and straw and many farm implements. The Forest City fire department was called but on the arrival of the fire ladies nothing could be done. It was reported that Mr. White's barn on the home farm was ablaze. The origin of the fire is unknown. It is presumed to be the work of hunters in carelessly disposing of cigarettes. Mr. White's loss is partly covered by insurance.

News Brief: Clemenceau thinks the dresses of American women are too low. He would revise his opinion if he had to pay for them.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

John Collins had a long-standing dispute with another local residence, Alan Hoffman. Both men lived in Huntingdon County. In 2020, Collins took his personal grudge to a new level – he acquired a mug shot of Alan Hoffman from a DUI arrest and created a "wanted poster" with it. After reproducing the photograph, the poster also contained the following message: "I crossed a Billy goat with a pig.  What did you get? See for yourself; it's got a goat face and smells like a pig. $500.00 reward to capture and put in a cage. Call nearest police agency for reward. Trying to impersonate a human being."

Collins proceeded to personally place this "wanted poster" in several mailboxes, but the local mail carrier noticed them while delivering the mail and removed them. Collins then decided to pin the "wanted poster" to the bulletin board at the post office but it was likewise removed by the postmistress.  Finally, Collins attempted to actually mail the "wanted poster" to a number of individuals and, when one of these individuals complained to the postmistress about receiving the "wanted poster," the postmistress seized the other "wanted posters" that Collins had mailed. The postmistress then reported Collins to the Pennsylvania State Police. After an investigation, Collins was charged with two summary harassment citations.

The matter proceeded to trial where Collins opted to testify in his own defense. Collins admitted to putting up the "wanted poster" at the post office as well as mailing several letters containing the "wanted poster." Collins attempted to deny placing the "wanted posters" in various mailboxes and suggested that perhaps the mail carrier had done it. Collins contended that he was not seeking to harass Hoffman; rather, Collins explained that he was merely trying to alert the neighbors that Hoffman was a drunk driver who was habitually driving around the neighborhood without a valid driver's license. Collins explained that he had personally reported Hoffman on many occasions to the state police without any results.

During cross-examination, when pressed on why it was necessary to describe Hoffman as the offspring of the union between a goat and a pig, Collins admitted that he was angry at Hoffman because Collins believed that Hoffman was spreading lies about him. Collins likewise had to concede that the claim that Hoffman was half-goat and half-pig was a lie. The trial court convicted Collins of two counts of harassment and sentenced him to a period of incarceration of 15 days. Collins appealed his conviction.

Collins first argued that he could not he convicted of harassing Hoffman when he did not have any direct contact with him nor did he mail or send the "wanted poster" to Hoffman. The Superior Court noted that the subsection of the harassment statute under which Collins was convicted only required that Collins engaged "in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts with served no legitimate purpose" with the intent to harass or annoy Hoffman. Given that the legislature did not require actual contact between a harasser and the victim as to this subsection, the Superior Court concluded that "engagement between the harasser and the victim" was not required under the subsection of the statute. Further, the evidence unequivocally demonstrated that Collins had no legitimate purpose for his goat/pig poster aside from harassing and annoying Hoffman – even if Collins never specifically sent the "wanted poster" to Hoffman.

Collins also asserted that his "wanted poster" was protected speech under the First Amendment.  Collins defended his actions by suggesting he was merely seeking to notify the community that Hoffman was a dangerous, drunk and unlicensed driver. The Superior Court concluded that the First Amendment did not protect Collins' speech: "The evidence at trial was clear that Collins' poster . . . [was] not intended to advise the public of Hoffman's potentially dangerous driving as a result of his DUI convictions nor did they contain an educational or symbolic message regarding the harm caused to society by drunk drivers. Instead, Collins' speech was simply intended to shame and provoke Hoffman and direct the ire of the public on him based upon his status as an offender."

Collins' conviction was affirmed and he will have to serve 15 days in jail as a result of his harassing course of conduct.  While this case involves the use of the old media, there are lessons for those contemplating a retaliatory posting in the new social media world. Unlike Collins' conventional methods of disseminating his "wanted poster," the social media world can provide for countless people seeing material with a single click. If you are a social media user and occasionally harbor a grudge for perceived injustices, whatever they may be, remember that irresponsible posts containing harassing or annoying content may have criminal ramifications.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

If it's on TV, you can't afford it (Part 1)

After a long, grueling shift at the pharmacy, the pharmacist is back home and just settling down in front of the TV. He wants to zone out while watching his favorite program, Surgery Gone Awry. Chockful of bloody blunders and medical mishaps, the show is done live with a studio audience. Their reactions, from delight to disgust, set the mood. This evening, the show features the largest fibroid tumors ever recorded. But hold the phone! Here is a commercial message.

"Are you tired, rundown, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? The answer to all your problems is in this little bottle, Vita-meata-vegamin." The pharmacist groaned. "Why must drug ads be shown on television?" he said to Sadie, his collie, who passed gas in solidarity.

Only two countries, the US and New Zealand, allow drug companies to advertise their products directly to consumers (aka DTC ads). So, is it a coincidence that these are the only two places on Earth where its residents take more than two prescription medications a day? Why? Because there's gold in them thar pills! Global revenues from Big Pharma cash in at $1.2 trillion. And we are a greedy sort.

Which drugs have the biggest TV ad budgets? Dupixent (for eczema), Rybelsus (diabetes), and Humira (rheumatoid arthritis) were the top three most advertised drugs in 2021. Dupixent rang in at $287 million. The makers of Rybelsus and Humira spent a respective $225 and $176 million. Rounding out the Top 10 were Rinvoq (skin, joint diseases), Ozempic (diabetes), Trulicity (diabetes), Jardiance (diabetes, heart failure), Skyrizi (psoriasis), Rexulti (depression), and Tremfya (psoriasis).

Do these ads help people? Yes and no. People with diabetes know they have that condition. And if they do not, the first drug prescribed to them will not be Trulicity ($1,300 for an injector pen) or Rybelsus ($1,226 for 30 tablets). You can hear your insurance company chortling now. Shingrix, the vaccine that prevents shingles, gets a ton of tube time. Yes, everyone should get a shingles shot. Good news! Starting in 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act will eliminate all out-of-pocket vaccine costs for adults. That includes the shingles vaccine. Thank you, President Joe!

Then, there are the TV ads that are on the periphery of propriety. To wit: Xiaflex, "proven to help gradually reduce penile curvature."At $3,250 a shot (you will need two) plus daily penile exercises (stretching repetitions, no doubt), you should think "long and hard" about needing this therapy. Insurance may foot the bill. BTW, their website is The same goes for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) drugs, antiretroviral medications used to prevent HIV infection. PrEP is used by HIV-negative people who may be exposed to that virus through sex or injection drug use. Now, the pharmacist, being a battle-scarred big ol mo, is not judgmental here. But explaining the use of these drugs to your teens during The Rachel Maddow Show may be ill-timed.

Pros and cons to DTC TV ads? Pros: Big Pharma argues that these adverts create more educated consumers who are aware of their options. They help consumers grab control of their chronic conditions rather than kowtow to them. Cons: They steer patients away from cheaper generic alternatives. They increase drug costs and the number of unnecessary prescriptions.

Till then, it's a free country (for now). "So, why not join the thousands of happy, peppy people, and get a great big bottle of Vita-meata-vegamin? That's Vita. Meata. Vegamin!" To be continued.

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

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Base Layers For The Whole Family

By Shannon Madden

One of my favorite scenes in TV movie history is that poor, frazzled Indiana housewife getting her boys bundled up to walk to school. The younger boy, Randy, mumbles in distress beneath his scarf. Mom unwraps his face to hear him whine, "I can't put my arms down!" She then attempts to push his arm to his sides several times only to have them stubbornly pop up again supported by his many layers and ample snowsuit.

The layering allows you to moderate your body temperature so that you don't get too cold or too hot. More is not always better, as Randy's mother found out. If you pile on too many layers, you may find that you end up colder than if you had fewer. The goal is to keep warm enough to be comfortable without causing sweating. Your sweat will evaporate and cool your body quickly and possibly dangerously.

Keeping a few essential layers on hand for each family member gives you the option to outfit everyone according to their needs. Everyone should have at least one base layer, middle layers like T-shirts and sweaters, and outer layers such as a ski jacket or parka.

What Is A Base Layer?

Likely, most of you are familiar with base layers like UnderArmor. That brand name succeeded in becoming synonymous with the garments we are talking about. Some good news is that it's not the only brand out there, and you don't have to spend a fortune on cold weather gear.

A good base layer should be snug against your skin, but not tight enough to restrict your movement. Kids may be especially sensitive to any restriction and balk at the requirement to wear a base layer. It's ok to get it a slightly larger size for comfort if this is a big problem. However, it's too baggy, it won't serve its purpose. Look for seams sewn flat also. Sometimes a ridge on the inside can irritate your skin.

The two main purposes of your base layer are warmth and moisture wicking. If you happen to sweat a little because the winter sunshine is particularly strong or you're totally whomping the kids in a snowball fight, a moisture wicking layer draws the sweat to the surface of the garment to evaporate. Because the sweat doesn't dry against your skin, it doesn't cause a chill.

For Dad

Men's base layers from good brands like Under Armour, Dickies, and Carhartt run between $30 and $50 for shirts or pants separately. You'll also find several unknown brands on Amazon that have good ratings for cheaper prices. I tend to apply the middle-of-the-road strategy for all gear. Don't get the cheapest or most expensive. It's also better to try on base layers since they fit snug to your body. A sporting goods store or outdoor outfitter might cost more than online, but you'll know exactly what you're getting.

For Mom

Ladies, we luck out in the price department here. Base layers for women tend to run $17-$32 per garment with a few exceptions from big brand names. Although the same shopping savvy applies for us. The opportunity to try it on is usually worth any cost increase you incur.

For Kids

For the kids you can often get a base layer set that has the shirt and pants for one price. I've seen between $20 and $40 depending on the size and brand. You can also get unisex base layers for young kids. For teens you probably want to differentiate or get men's and women's small sizes.

Base layers may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you want to spend extended time outside (i.e. more than 30 minutes), the investment is well worth it for everyone's comfort and enjoyment.

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