The Historian: A Most Interesting Diary |Jul 7, 2015

A most interesting diary has come to light. Found by historian Nancy Roan, it was created by Norristown resident Mary Markley Boyer from 1839-1845. Diaries and journals, called “primary source documents,” are the gold standard in historical research.

A Look Back in History: Rural Folklife of the early 1900’s as seen by Photographers; H. Winslow Fegley & Amandus Moyer (Part II) |Jul 2, 2015

Unlike Winslow Fegley, Amandus Moyer photographed life in the Oley Hills, around Fredericksville and the tavern at Landis Store, where frontier farmers lived more in seclusion. But being a very popular visitor at the Lobachsville Tavern and general store partly due to the curiosity driving his new automobile, he did fancy photographing good looking horses and their drivers, whether they drove a one-horse buggy or a team of horses.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: The President and the Power of Faith Through Grace |Jul 2, 2015

On June 26th, President Obama, gave a eulogy for State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in his own church building, along with eight other African Americans, by a white man who had just finished worshiping with them in a bible study group.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Part #2 of Singin’ in the Rain |Jul 1, 2015

Several decades ago I went to have some dental work done and the dentist gave me Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) for my first and only time. My wife, Barb, was to pick me up but was a little late. As I walked out of the office, I found it was raining so I stood in the rain whistling as I waited.

Welcome to my World: Red rose ceremonies |Jun 27, 2015

First page was in the Easton Express in 1986

A Look Back in History: Rural Folklife of the early 1900s as seen by Photographers: H. Winslow Fegley & Amandus Moyer (Part I) |Jun 27, 2015

At the turn of the century into the 1900’s, when most of the nation was fascinated with the unbelievable results of automation and the beginning of a mobile America, there were a few who saw the opportunity to record that way of life that was soon to be antediluvian.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: Race, Racism and Christian Forgiveness |Jun 27, 2015

June was an eventful month. It raised some interesting questions.

From the Item Editor: A Farewell to the readers |Jun 26, 2015

This past March marked two years that I have been the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. It’s hard to believe how much has changed between that first day and now. Prior to starting, I had very little knowledge of the Hamburg area.

For what it’s worth: My personal food challenge |Jun 26, 2015

I’ve had the house to myself for about a week, and I have another week to go. When there’s only one person—it’s easy to downsize a bit. And I decided to downsize in regards to hastily purchasing food.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Singin’ In The Rain! Part #1 |Jun 24, 2015

This article is the beginning of a mini-series entitled Singin’ In The Rain! As the introduction, I would like to discuss the topic of GOALS. I consider myself an average person (no matter what others might say), so if you are like me, you may see a definite need for goals but they may also leave a bitter taste in your mouth.


I don’t know about you, but on occasion I find challenges seem to have a way of finding me. Two examples are when my mother who, was widowed over two decades, used to call me at work and say, “Jeff, I think I have a problem.

Through My Kitchen Window: A lesson in basic cooking chemistry |Jun 17, 2015

I received an email from Kutztown Patriot reader Laurel Powell, Lenhartsville, about the cupcakes I’d made for my daughter’s 4th birthday. (Note that Through My Kitchen Window is a weekly column that publishes in several Berks-Mont Newspapers including this one.

Through My Eyes: A nerd needs more |Jun 15, 2015

Over the years I have become a loyal patron of the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. Some of my most frequented sections include Fiction, World History, and Science & Nature (more for mathematics than actual science).

Welcome to my World: Lessons I learned from my father |Jun 15, 2015

My father, Herb Christman, was a farmer. Pop wasn’t demonstrative or even talkative with his children, but his character was shown to us through his actions.

The Village of Haringstown |Jun 12, 2015

Haringstown is a folk name for the village that lies in Douglass Township on the Swamp Pike east of Gilbertsville. The little community has had its own identity since the 18th century, but without a post office it appears on no maps or atlases.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Learning from Lisa |Jun 10, 2015

Since I have a great interest in eating but little interest in baking or cooking, I don’t think I have ever read the entirety of Through My Kitchen Window in the Tri County Record. This changed with Editor Lisa Mitchell’s June 2, 2015 article on “Sometimes simple is best!” Instead of making an elaborate birthday cake for four-year-old Anna, she asked her what she wanted.

Through My Kitchen Window: The magic of dairy |Jun 10, 2015

Something as simple as being able to eat dairy is magical for Anna.

Welcome to my World: Aunts and uncles |Jun 8, 2015

I grew up visiting aunts and uncles with my parents. I enjoyed these visits, if they had children my age, to play with. But, that wasn’t always the case. As a teenager, I didn’t have to go on these visits any more.

Past, Present & Future: Hikers, hunters and gamelands |Jun 8, 2015

Earlier this year the PA Game Commission attempted to limit access to the gamelands for a substantial part of the year by non-hunters for the nearly exclusive use of what is now a very small minority of Pennsylvania citizens — hunters.

Felicia Fisher’s Slice of Life: Necessary inspiration and cheesecake pie |Jun 8, 2015

Some mornings I’m overwhelmed with inspirational ideas. I keep a pen and paper at the end of my bakery counter and jot down random thoughts between rolling pie crusts. Usually there’s a cup of very strong coffee nearby.

The Historian: Clothing the family |Jun 5, 2015

During the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, clothing the family was no small undertaking to the already burdened farm wife. Added to that was the job of providing fabric for such things as bed sheets, ticking, pillow cases, hand towels and table cloths.

A Look Back in History: Early American Staircase Candle Shelves |Jun 5, 2015

The romance of living in early America and using old fashioned candles to light your way and to read by in the evenings was just not as romantic if compared to the invention of the Victorian kerosene lamps that followed.

A Look Back in History: American Wisdom and Good Natured Dutch Folklore |Jun 3, 2015

Almost since the founding of America, there have been many illiterate peasants who have followed the lead of Ministers and educated citizens whose wisdom has helped them survive farming in the North American wilderness.

PERSON TO PERSON IMPACT: Eye Doctor’s Visit: Funny & Educational |Jun 3, 2015

I recently had the most fun ever of any visit to a doctor’s office. I had previously gone to have my eyes checked and was referred from the first eye doctor to a specialist eye doctor for a minor procedure.

Guest Column: Lost and found |Jun 1, 2015

In these days when police are getting bad press all the time I felt it prudent to relate this story to you.

Welcome to my World: The marriage ring |Jun 1, 2015

In June, hundreds of couples unite in marriage and seal their vows by exchanging rings. This tradition dates back to antiquity.

Dairy Recipe: MOOOve into Summer |Jun 1, 2015

Although we’ve already had a taste of summer-like weather, the official start of the season has not arrived. As you slather on sunscreen to have some fun in the sun, work in your garden, visit the beach or other vacation destinations or even just sit on the patio to enjoy the breeze, dairy should be a part of your summer routine.

Cazenove’s 1794 Pennsylvania Travel Journal, Part 2 |May 29, 2015

As detailed last week, Theophile Cazenove, a wealthy European who was working for prosperous Dutch bankers, was employed to travel through Pennsylvania with an eye toward investments in land. He kept notes on his findings which were eventually published as his “journal.

Part 2: An Alma Mater State of Mind |May 29, 2015

In January of 1956, at the start of the second semester of fifth grade, we made a new friend, one who hailed from Europe. Chris Manfre sat in the auditorium with us, waiting to be assigned to classes, looking like a stranger in a strange land.

A Look Back in History: 2015 Kutztown Memorial Day Recollections |May 29, 2015

There are few Memorial Day Parade as nostalgic as the village of Kutztown, where citizens and neighbors gather on the Main Street of this rural community to celebrate their Americana freedom of Liberty to renew Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, the lifeblood of our Democracy.

Focus on the Family: Daughter’s put-downs with boyfriend worry parents |May 28, 2015

Q: Am I being too sensitive about the put-downs and insults my daughter and her boyfriend toss back and forth at each other? She acts like it’s no big deal, but I’m alarmed and don’t consider this to be healthy behavior.

So you’re saving for retirement- Now what? |May 28, 2015

When discussing retirement, there are dozens of questions you can ask yourself. Do you want immediate access to your money or do you want guaranteed income over your lifetime? Keep in mind guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Welcome to my World: My front porch |May 24, 2015

Reprint: 2008 in local paper, Lifestyles, 2012 on Berks County TV web site.

Felicia Fisher’s Slice of Life: Ice cream makerless strawberry ice cream |May 24, 2015

I’ve concluded that the lack of decent customer service in today’s world is, in effect, a lack of integrity. Entry level employees simply do not care if they’re doing their job well and this became apparent to me on several occasions this week including snide comments by a cashier coupled with the failure of a customer service representative to follow up with a telephone call as promised leaving me to wonder if my mixer parts will ever be delivered.

The Historian: Cazenove’s journey through Pennsylvania, 1794 |May 22, 2015

As often noted, the Germanic farmers and tradesmen who largely populated this region during the early days kept few, if any, personal records. Occasionally, though, travelers and visitors recorded details of their visits which are useful to historians.

On the Record with Carol: Sometimes God just walks right into your life when you’re not even looking |May 21, 2015

This Memorial Day I will be going to Washington, D.C. with my daughter-in-law Gloria Quaintance and my two grandsons Caleb and Joshua.

Person to Person Impact: Photographic Memories Part #1 |May 21, 2015

Now that the six part series of the adventures of Beetle Bailey’s Protégé has concluded, I would like to start an intermittent mini-series of Photographic Memories. This will include a photo and the memories attached to it which are contained in my small memory box, each representing a fun, serious or emotional time in my life.

Focus on the Family: Parent searching for advice on how to help son lose weight |May 21, 2015

Q: Do you have any advice for the parent of a preteen child who’s extremely overweight? I want to help him lose weight while he’s young, before it becomes a serious problem later in life.

Ask Esther: They Need To Love What They See |May 21, 2015

Dear Esther – We are ready to sell our home so we contacted a realtor to get it on the market. She gave us a long list of items to do before selling. We have always taken good care of our property and feel the list is unnecessary.

A Look Back in History: The Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick Maker: Our Kutztown Folk Festival Craftsman |May 19, 2015

Among the iconic craftsman that have always made up our Colonial ethnic natives of the Pennsylvania people, have been the historic tradesmen that have been long remembered for their craftsmanship, enabling immigrant natives to survive in a somewhat hostile pioneer environment.

Welcome to my World: Sisterhood |May 18, 2015

Sisterhood! It’s supposed to be fun! My sister, Gladys, was two years older than me. As far back as I can remember, I had this love-hate relationship with her. When I complained about Gladys to my older sisters, they’d always tell me, “We all fought with the sister, that was closest in age, when we were kids.

Small Beginnings: Driving with stinkbugs |May 18, 2015

The other day I was driving along in my car, minding my own business when out of the corner of my eye I caught a subtle flash of movement on the console. Being alone in the car, there should not be anything moving anywhere that is not attached to me, so naturally this motion alerted my curiosity.

Welcome to my World: A ‘nice’ casual horse and buggy ride |May 11, 2015

It was 1994. My five sisters and I were invited to the Big Island of Hawaii by our brother, Lester, and his wife, Ruth. They are both retired schoolteachers, who rent a condo on the Big Island, a few months of the year.

Felicia Fisher’s Slice of Life: Bittersweet rhubarb |May 11, 2015

As much as I detest the word “ignorant”, it does sufficiently describe my relationship with rhubarb. Prior to marrying my husband and trying the creations baked up by his two Pennsylvania Dutch grandmothers I had no clue it even existed.

Welcome to my World: Mother’s Day gifts |May 4, 2015

Over the years, I’ve received what you would call “normal” type Mother’s Day gifts, everything from hand-made cards, candy, flowers and clothing, from my children. I’m now a retired mother and my children — three daughters and a son — are raising families of their own.

Welcome to my World: Mom, in sickness and in health |Apr 27, 2015

With the raising of ten children, Mom never called a doctor, unless she had to. Even in her elderly years, she did her best to stay out of the doctor’s office. She could cure most anything. Sometimes it was her wonder drugs.

Felicia Fisher’s Slice of Life: Sugar and spice |Apr 27, 2015

Baking is excellent therapy. On days filled with aggravation (of which I’ve had too many of late), I find that baking is extremely therapeutic. Baking provides me with an opportunity for solitude and to simply forget whatever it is that is irritating me and, in the end, I have the satisfaction of providing bliss in baked form to someone else (as well as myself because I don’t grow tired of eating what I bake).

The Historian: The Curious ‘Klingelbeutel’ |Apr 26, 2015

Another detail in the local life of yesteryear which is now totally gone from all but historical reference is the German Klingelbeutel — Glingelsock in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, literally, “bellpocket.

Part 5 Vietnam 1970 - 1971: Meet Private Beetle Bailey’s Protégé |Apr 22, 2015

Shortly after taking up residence in base camp, I established a routine of going to a Vietnamese barber on a weekly basis. Each customer received the works: haircut, shave, shoulder massage and the unexpected neck crack, accomplished by the barber grabbing each side of your head firmly and giving it a quick 90 degree sharp turn.

The Historian: Early school houses were used as Sunday schools |Apr 21, 2015

Since by tradition and custom the first schools were operated by the churches, it is easy to see why the early township school boards saw no problem with allowing Sunday schools to meet in the one-room school houses.