Letter: BCL, The year in review and what’s to come in 2016 |Nov 29, 2015

As another year is fast approaching it’s end, I would like to take a moment to look back on an institution that has been a big part of this community for 26 years and counting - the Brandywine Community Library.

Welcome to my World: Square dancing, barn dancing, hoe downs and more |Nov 27, 2015

When I was a teenager, my friends and I enjoyed country dancing at Hummel’s Snack Bar and Dance Hall (now C.J. Hummel’s Restaurant, Bar and Gathering Place) in Lenhartsville. My friends and I always had to find a ride to get to the dances, but my classmate, Doris (Baver) Schlenker, told me, “I used to go to Hummel’s hoedowns.

A Look Back in History: The French Huguenot connection to recent Paris attacks |Nov 27, 2015

The most recent attack on the people of France has reminded PA Dutch ancestors of their French Huguenot ethnology. Although the PA Dutch people speak in German dialect, my wife and I are actually French Huguenots, but very much considered PA Dutch, whose ancestors arrived in America to escape religious persecution in Europe.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Through my car window |Nov 24, 2015

Most of you are familiar with editor Lisa Mitchell’s column in the Tri County Record entitled “Through My Kitchen Window,” in which her daughter, Anna, helps her make apple pancakes, chocolate cupcakes, macaroni and cheese from leftover noodles and other delicious eats.

The Historian - Beds, bedding, bedsteads and sleep: Part III |Nov 23, 2015

It is claimed that during the 18th and early 19th centuries, Dutchmen (Pennsylvania Germans) slept on their backs in a somewhat sitting position. It is said that they thought dangerously unhealthy to sleep lying flat.

Letter to the Editor |Nov 20, 2015

Dear Editor; I am writing in response to the picture on the front page of the Patriot Nov. 12.

A Look Back in History: Dear Mom... |Nov 19, 2015

Loyal readers have probably noticed over the years that I’ve praised my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother and father on many occasions, and have made little reference to my mom. By no means intentional, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately, since I have lost both my dad and “Nana,” and my aunt most recently, who was a very good woman, and all too recent! But if one subscribes in the nature versus nurture notion, then one may find themselves in a debate, if your core make-up and development are products primarily of innate, inborn or inherited traits or learned behaviors and environmental factors that determine one’s aptitude more so.

Welcome to my World: A Thanksgiving History |Nov 19, 2015

Although we associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, they were not the originators of the tradition, nor has the celebration been continuous since Colonial times. Its curious history has roots stretching across time and the Atlantic Ocean, but it would only become the holiday we know it, taking place on the fourth Thursday of November, by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Giving Thanks |Nov 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Day: “A national holiday set apart for giving thanks to God” (as defined in Webster’s Dictionary). Over the years, in my way of thinking, this definition has been watered down by many to mean travelling to family and friends, dinner around the dining room table and watching football games.

Through my eyes: Blind Man Bluffing, the Story of Hal Lubarsky |Nov 18, 2015

In 2002 Hal Lubarsky would lose his sight to a degenerative condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited condition that causes the photoreceptor cells of the retinal portion of the eye to gradually decay.

Letter to the Editor: The Don Ennis series |Nov 18, 2015

Dear Editor: Regarding your series on Don Ennis...

The Historian: Beds, bedding, bedsteads and sleep, Part II |Nov 17, 2015

Last week’s article described the typical 18th century bedstead in the New Hanover area as being high posted and curtained. Additionally, the master’s bedroom was on the first floor and received some heat from the stove room next door.

A Look Back in History: Clearing William Penn’s forests & sweetening the soil |Nov 13, 2015

Benjamin Franklin remarked in 1766 that the unfavorable balance of trade with England was only tolerable by our immense exports to the Colonies and rest of the world. David Schopf, by 1783, mentioned how huge numbers of Pennsylvania Dutch/Germans from the Hinterland were sleeping in their Conestoga wagons at Philadelphia’s markets, and three-day trade fairs in order that they may be able to sell their foodstuffs in this port city.

Welcome to my World: The history of the Kohler cat |Nov 13, 2015

All the years that I lived on the farm, now called “Foliage Farm,” on Christman Road near Monterey, Mom had a three inch sculpted wooden cat, with the date 1886 on the bottom, perched on the fireplace mantel of our living room.

Berks Gas Truth statement on Obama’s rejection of KXL |Nov 13, 2015

President Obama is to be commended for his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have been a critical link in a pipeline system designed to move oil from tar sands from Alberta Canada to the Gulf Coast.

For what it’s worth: The versatility of baguettes |Nov 12, 2015

Rolling off of my last column, which ran in June and was about my “personal food challenge,” I’d like to talk about food again.

Financial Column: Disability income insurance can help protect your paycheck |Nov 11, 2015

Your ability to earn an income may be one of your most valuable assets. Think about your house, your car, your watch or jewelry. Would you go without homeowners insurance or car insurance? Shouldn’t you consider protecting another important asset, your paycheck?

PERSON T0 PERSON - IMPACT: Men cry two! A farewell to Don Ennis |Nov 11, 2015

Before anyone tells me I don’t know the difference between “to, too and two,” please let me explain why I used the word “two.” It has been roughly 20 years since I have wanted to write a book entitled Men Cry Two! Since it appears to be unmanly to cry outwardly, I find myself crying inwardly in many circumstances, thus the title of my unwritten book.

The Historian: Beds, bedding, bedsteads and sleep, Part I |Nov 10, 2015

Most of the log and stone 18th century houses in this area were built in the Germanic style with a heavy central chimney stack surrounded on the first floor by three rooms: on the north or west side the Kich (kitchen), on the south side the Stub (good room) and on the east the Kammer (bedroom).

A Look Back in History: The story of Mountain Mary continued... |Nov 6, 2015

Having adjusted to being a hermit, living in seclusion, Mountain Mary supported herself with the aid of a milk cow or two and the friendship of neighbors who marketed her butter and cheese goods when they went to nearby farm markets.

Welcome to my World: Grandma and her house |Nov 6, 2015

When I was a child, every Sunday was “Grandma Visiting Day.” To a child of eight, this was a fearsome, yet awesome visit.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Donald Ennis’ Treasures Part V |Nov 4, 2015

Soooo, did Don lead a perfect life just like you and me? The answer to that is both NO and YES. No, he wasn’t perfect. Yes, he had some problems along the way, just like you and me. He had a tendency to like to fight, especially when drinking a bit.

The Historian: The Coal Famine of 1902 |Nov 3, 2015

By the early 20th century, coal was king. The early petroleum industry was just beginning to produce kerosene and gasoline, while heating oil was unknown. Most homes, schools and buildings of every other type heated with coal.

Letter to the Editor: Meals on Wheels fundraiser, a huge success |Nov 3, 2015

Dear Editor: On behalf of the staff, volunteers and clients of Family Services’ Meals on Wheels program, I would like to thank the greater Pottstown community for their support of the Annual Meals on Wheels Fundraising Event featuring The Fabulous Greaseband on Saturday, Oct.

Welcome to my World: Celebrating the family through newsletters |Oct 30, 2015

Some would say a family newsletter is all about bragging. There are people who would say, “I love hearing what’s happening in our family. I just don’t have time to write or even call family members!” To me, a family newsletter is like a cup of hot tea; it just hits the spot!

A Look Back in History: Mountain Mary and Oley religious zeal |Oct 30, 2015

After receiving inquiries about Ludwig Wollenweber’s 1882 romantic novelette about faith healer Mountain Mary that was reprinted in 1974, I decided to expand. This German novelette printed in Philadelphia had been translated into English, so Dr.

On the Record with Carol: You want me to swallow what? |Oct 28, 2015

Last year I discovered that what I thought was just a general run down feeling was really a medical problem.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Donald Ennis’ Treasures, Part IV |Oct 28, 2015

Don’s next assignment as Chief Quartermaster was on the USS Levy, a destroyer escort commissioned in May 1943. Its area of operation was in the South Pacific, with the objectives of escorting oiler fueling operations, driving off attacking enemy planes, serving as a psychological presence and blockading and bombarding the remaining atolls (a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely) held by the Japanese.

Freelancing in 2015? Three tips for how to secure a mortgage if you’re a self-employed entrepreneur |Oct 28, 2015

This is an issue that has come up more and more and frustrates business owners who make a good living at what they do but their income fluctuates from year to year, making it difficult to get approved for a mortgage.

The Historian: The story of the Collegeville bridge |Oct 27, 2015

Rev. Muhlenberg, who brought the Lutheran Church to America in 1742, had three parishes: Philadelphia, Trappe and New Hanover. From the day of his arrival, crossing the Perkiomen Creek at Collegeville was an ordeal: Nov.

Autumn and dangerous country roads |Oct 23, 2015

Going to a country church in Oley Township from Kutztown, my wife and I appreciated the warning by a member of our church who also traveled a distance to attend Salem UCC Church on Covered Bridge Road.

A Look Back in History: Iron industry trade during our agrarian golden age |Oct 23, 2015

Certainly, the Oley Valley’s iron industry with furnaces, forges and blacksmiths greatly enhanced our agrarian economy, making trade with Philadelphia possible by horse and wagon during the golden age of the Republic.

Welcome to my World: My Day as a Wood Chopper |Oct 23, 2015

It all started when I was 16 and my brother, David, gave me his car while he was in the service. I wrecked it and never paid him back. Eventually, David married Millie, and they raised six girls. Upon retirement from running their sanitation and septic business, they bought land.

Real Estate Column: The Empty Nest: maintain your home, or trade it in for smaller home? |Oct 22, 2015

According to CNN.com there are currently 75.4 million baby boomers born from 1946-1964 living in the United States today.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Donald Ennis’ Treasures, Part III |Oct 21, 2015

Page 38 of the report included a letter the Chaplain had written for each member of the crew to send home when they arrived back in England for resupply. The letter read: “You have probably been worried about me since the invasion began, and I just want you to know that I am getting along fine.

The Historian: Hex Signs, a fascinating Pennsylvania mystery |Oct 20, 2015

The Germans’ love of color and decoration led to their putting designs and color on every surface that stood still, and even some that didn’t. An 1810 watercolor by Lewis Miller of York depicts a scene he witnessed: women holding the barnyard chickens and painting their feathers in bright colors.

Editor’s desk: Colebrookdale Railroad’s story rich in history and potential |Oct 20, 2015

By Nancy March nmarch@pottsmerc.com @merceditor on Twitter

Welcome to my World: What Dale taught me |Oct 16, 2015

Dale was my son-in-law, who died on Nov. 1, 2007, when he was only 44 years old . His courage, stamina and love have left a lasting impression on me.

A Look Back in History: Colonial book trade in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ |Oct 16, 2015

The dual magnetism, which drew many Pennsylvania Dutch farmers to Philadelphia, was not only to sell at high prices and purchase imports, but also to obtain religious books printed in their native tongue at Germantown, adjacent to Philadelphia.

Letter to the Editor: Pray, vote and engage with reason |Oct 16, 2015

Dear Editor: Recently, I saw a message from Franklin Graham about getting involved and praying for our country. It was a great message and maybe a wake up call to our clergy of every denomination that seems to have let this country down in the past few elections.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Donald Ennis’s Treasures Part II |Oct 14, 2015

God was with Don and blessed him in many ways. In 1940, the summer after graduating from High School, in Smyrna, Delaware, he enlisted in the Navy. Thankfully, the Marines first rejected him when he tried to enlist because at six feet, four inches (he continued to grow another two inches) he was a quarter inch too tall for Marine standards.

Ask Esther: No radon removal system, will it cost me? |Oct 14, 2015

Dear Esther: We are thinking about selling our home. We don’t have a radon removal system in our house. Will this get in the way of selling?

The Historian: Fish wars on the Schuylkill |Oct 13, 2015

From the earliest times, the Schuylkill and its tributaries were noted for their abundance of fish. Fresh fish from local creeks would have been a welcome addition to the diets of early settlers in the region.

Welcome to my World: Reminiscing with one-room school reunions |Oct 9, 2015

My niece, Diane Christman Smith, of Bastian Road, Kutztown, asked me if I’d be interested in writing an article about the one-room school reunions she organizes.

A Look Back in History: The Revolutionary War and the Daniel Udree Mill |Oct 9, 2015

Among the oldest mill sites in the county, within 300 hundred yards of the historic Oley furnaces, of charcoal days gone by, between the Oley hills and threading the valley, is the Udree Mill powered by the Furnace creek, which gave life to active water-wheels, a mill famous during the American Revolution.

Letter to the Editor: Senate Bill 76 |Oct 9, 2015

Dear Editor: Two words you are not hearing in Harrisburg lately as we debate the state budget are “We agree.” As cosponsors of Senate Bill 76, legislation that would eliminate school property taxes, we are here to say, “We agree” with the need for true property tax reform.

Through My Kitchen WIndow: Picking our own apples, then heading to kitchen |Oct 8, 2015

We love apples so getting to pick our apples was an especially enjoyable experience.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Donald Ennis’s Treasures, Part I |Oct 7, 2015

Note to Readers: As a substitute driver, I have delivered Meals on Wheels to Donald Ennis for about three years. Since my initial deliveries to him, I have known there is something special about him and many times “threatened” to have lunch with him.

Real Estate Column: STAGED TO MOVE! These top 3 must do’s will help your house move quickly in today’s real estate market |Oct 7, 2015

We all want to get the most bang for our buck when we choose to sell anything, especially a house. And no matter what the reason is for selling a home, there is always preparation involved.

Final Expense Life Insurance: A simple option for an inevitable issue |Oct 7, 2015

Do you have a way to pay for final expenses after you’re gone?