Columns

The Historian - Pleasant Run: Part I |May 30, 2016

No one knows where the name “Pleasant Run” originated, but it surely refers to the stream called Deep Creek. Pleasant Run is the hilly area in the north end of New Hanover Township, but don’t go looking for it.

Out & About: Happy snappers |May 30, 2016

“Go ahead, I dare you,” my brother Jimmy snickered to me. “It won’t hurt you,” he said staring at the gnarly-looking beast from the deep, which had just crawled out of the lake.

Welcome to my World - It’s the little things that make family memories: Part II |May 27, 2016

Holidays Like me, everyone I know loves to open Christmas presents.

A Look Back in History: American acculturation of the Pennsylvania Dutch |May 27, 2016

Nowhere in America is there a Germanic “Cultural Island” of ethnic PA Dutch people than in the historic East Penn, Oley and Great Valleys of Pennsylvania, “The Dutch Country,” where there are Germanic Hex-sign barns, Colonial clay-tiled bake ovens and farm buildings still exude the quaint folklife of Europe’s Rhine Valley.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: ‘Something the Lord Made’ |May 25, 2016

Two months ago my wife, Barb, and I were invited to lunch at the home of friends with several other people. One fellow, an excellent conversationalist, discussed some of the articles I have written with me.

Ask Esther - Buying and selling: When to begin looking for a new home |May 25, 2016

Dear Esther: We need a larger home and have just begun thinking through selling and purchasing. Should we begin looking for what we may want to buy before we sell ours?

Out & About: Time to fly |May 23, 2016

The small, white butterfly leisurely flew across my yard, like a stone skipping across a pond. It didn’t seem to be in any hurry, but then again, I’m not sure what its “hurried flight” looks like, or if it even has one.

The Historian: The craft of the weaver |May 23, 2016

For more than a century after settlement, linen and tow were the predominant fabrics of early Pennsylvania. Linen is produced from the long fibers of the flax plant, tow from the short fibers. Most farmers planted about two acres of flax each year in the early spring, which supplied enough fiber for their new clothing, towels, table cloths and other household uses such as cheese sieves, ball cheese covers and wrappers for market butter.

Transforming the CCRC into a Healthy Life Plan Community |May 20, 2016

For the past 53 years, May has been a month when Americans have celebrated the contributions of older Americans in our society. First celebrated as Senior Citizens Month, May is now designated as Older Americans Month.

Welcome to my World - It’s the little things that make family memories: Part I |May 20, 2016

Some families have traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Other families make up their own rituals as they grow together as a new family. Either way, it’s a way families celebrate togetherness.

A Look Back in History: The founding of the American Folklife Institute (Part II) |May 20, 2016

Thus, early American village trade fairs among the PA Dutch were a common occurrence in the springtime when craftsmen, after long winter months, wished to market their trade items locally instead of sending them to the distant Philadelphia urban market.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: The Girls - A Mystery |May 18, 2016

Six years after Barb and I married in 1967 we went house hunting. All the houses we looked at seemed a bit rich for our pocketbook. We were ready to discontinue our efforts for a while when Barb found a house listed in the classified ads as “For Sale by Owner.

Out & About: April showers bring May wildflowers |May 16, 2016

Their names can be unusual... Names such as Spring Beauty, Bloodroot, Trout Lily, Dutchman’s Breeches, Virginia Bluebells and Liverwort. They begin blooming as early as March, and continue through June, but if your timing is off, you’ll miss seeing them altogether and have to wait another year to witness these delicate, spring wildflowers.

The Historian: The Indian of Swamp Creek |May 16, 2016

Immigrant Peter Faust settled along the Swamp Creek in Upper Frederick Township about 1750. One of his descendents, Samuel Faust, at the turn of the 20th century, was one of the leading citizens of the area, an ex-member of the state legislature, a prosperous farmer and active in local political and educational affairs.

A Look Back in History: The founding of the American Folklife Institute |May 13, 2016

The American Folklife Institute, located in Kutztown, became the idea of Richard H. Shaner, only after talking with his friend and mentor, Dr. Alfred L. Shoemaker, who along with Dr. Don Yoder and J.

Welcome to my World: Conveniences, gadgets and appliances |May 13, 2016

When I was a youngster, we had one radio, a small record player (given to us), a refrigerator, an outside toilet (which was used in summertime), the inside bathroom used in winter, a dial telephone (with a shared party line) and one car (which only my father drove).

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Phillie Phanatic - Innocent or guilty? |May 11, 2016

Major league baseball is so “balled up” in statistics that it could drive you nuts (and I don’t mean peanuts) if you tried to remember even a small percentage of them. I don’t know why anyone would have an advantage by knowing the record for the slowest time for Tater Trots (amount of time it takes for a player who hits a home run to circle the bases, totaling 280 feet).

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: Trump stands victorious and perhaps historical |May 9, 2016

In 1860 the Republican Party, at a contested election, selected Lincoln as their nominee. They also established that the party supported the limitation of slavery to the south and opposed its expansion in the west.

The Historian: Decorated interior surfaces |May 9, 2016

Most of the colonial era emigrants who settled in New Hanover and the surrounding townships during the colonial era (1720-1775) were Germanic, and with them they brought the Germans’ love of color and decoration.

Letter to the Editor: Shallow or deep thinking |May 6, 2016

Dear Editor: I am beginning to understand that the past days of political parties seem to be becoming obsolete. Of the age of having been a member of most parties, I now consider myself an independent, voting for what political party I consider to be the party of life and the one that follows our Constitution and, most emphatically, the right to free speech.

Letter to the Editor: Mother’s Day |May 6, 2016

Dear Editor: This Mother’s Day, May 8, many of us will celebrate the powerful bond between mother and child.

Welcome to my World: A-Mothering Cake |May 6, 2016

In England, Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, was a day when young people who lived away from home while working as apprentices or domestics received a holiday to visit their parents. It was a day not only to visit their home church with gifts, but also to visit their own mothers carrying gifts of flowers, candies and usually the traditional Simnel or “A-Mothering Cake.

A Look Back in History: The American Folklife Movement Part II |May 6, 2016

The American Folklife Institute journal, published in the 1970s was enamored in the field research of United States folk culture, architecture and antiques, mainly recorded throughout the greater Delaware Valley with area of expertise in Americana achievements and agrarian life, past and present, in its early years.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Looking for a ray of sunshine |May 4, 2016

I suspect that each of us has had a cloud hanging over our head at one time or another. The cloud may have been caused by a present a young child really wanted but did not receive. As we reach senior high school, that cloud may be a big test we don’t feel we are ready for or a rejection notice from the college we applied to.

Financial Column: Fixed annuities: A solid choice for retirement income |May 4, 2016

For years, Americans have looked to the stock market to help meet their long-term retirement needs. Unfortunately for those near or in retirement, market gyrations can wreak short-term havoc with even the best designed pension funds, 401(K) plans and individual retirement accounts.

The Historian: Black walnuts in local folk culture |May 2, 2016

The venerable black walnut trees have so far escaped the blights, insects and droughts that have all but destroyed some other local species.

Welcome to my World: Bonding with our baby |Apr 29, 2016

My older sisters, Anita, Jannetta, Mary Alice, Dorothy, Gladys and I, Carole, never expected to have any more babies at our age. After all, we ranged in ages 40 to 55. But, we ended up with one anyway - our very own mother.

A Look Back in History: The American Folklife Movement |Apr 29, 2016

With such a culture and region of storied past, academic folklife studies emerged worldwide in the wake of post-WWII modern lifestyle, created when natural fibers were replaced by new synthetic materials and mass produced commercial foods changed man’s traditional way of living.

Ask Esther: Should we put our home on the market before it is show-ready? |Apr 27, 2016

Dear Esther – We are working on getting our home ready to sell. We really wanted to have a for sale sign up this spring but have found that our “to do” list is not complete. Should we put it up for sale anyway, hoping it won’t matter?

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Happy Mother’s Day - ‘Linking’ with Art |Apr 27, 2016

As a tribute to each of the mothers reading this column around Mother’s Day, I would like to thank you for your love, care, nurturing, patience, training and so many other great qualities you exhibit during the raising of your children.

The Historian: Singing schools were everywhere |Apr 25, 2016

Singing schools were institutions of local culture that have almost completely disappeared from historical record. In the 19th century singing schools were everywhere: in church and public school buildings, meetinghouses or wherever a group could assemble.

Welcome to my World: The stranger that came to Pop’s house |Apr 22, 2016

On July 10, 1981, at the age of 84, Pop had a stroke. He came home from the hospital capable of walking, but forgetful. He didn’t always know who his children were, but he always knew Mom. Long ago memories were easier for him to recall.

A Look Back in History: Old Dutch country taverns and traditional social life |Apr 22, 2016

In finding yesteryear’s country hotels, sometimes modified or updated, one must usually take secondary blacktop roads that meander over the hills and valleys of the region through farming areas and cooler forested tracts.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Beetle Bailey’s Mailbag #3 |Apr 20, 2016

Dear Reader >> A few of you who were patient enough to read my series, entitled “Meet Private Beetle Bailey’s Protégé” that started in March 2015, may remember that because of the friendship I established with Beetle, as my mentor, I hired him to sift through the “tremendous amount” of correspondence the series generated.

Letter to the Editor: Above and beyond teaching |Apr 18, 2016

This is a letter of appreciation for Mr. Allan Angstadt at Kutztown Area High School for all the things he has done for our son and other kids that are bullied, that need self esteem and with learning disorders.

Out & About: Every day can be Earth Day |Apr 18, 2016

On April 22, 1970, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, wanted to organize a nationwide rally that focused on Americans’ growing concerns about environmental issues. His goal was to bring enough attention to such issues as air and water pollution, pesticides, the loss of wild lands and the extinction of species, into the political spotlight, that environmental protection would follow, and it did!

The Historian: New Hanover ‘Missgebert’ |Apr 18, 2016

Called “Kalendars” in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, Germantown printer Christopher Saur’s 18th century almanacs were universally read among Pennsylvania’s German speaking population.

Welcome to my World - Millie, the Mother: Part II |Apr 15, 2016

Grandma Millie will never be a stranger to her 11 grandchildren, no matter where they live. When her first grandchild moved away from the area, Millie called Amy and read children stories to her. Since these first grandchildren, Amy and Brock, graduated from school, they’ve moved back to Grandma and Grandpa.

A Look Back in History: Upcountry Dutchmen and English architecture |Apr 15, 2016

Although the Pennsylvania Dutch were consumed with the love of their homeland in the Rhine Valley of Europe, with their Germanic folk art seen in fraktur illumination in America and paint-decorated dower chests, these prosperous farmers became Americanized with the English formal architecture they witnessed in Philadelphia.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Baseball memories, Part II |Apr 13, 2016

With the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2016 opener having been played on April 4, welcome back to the second and final column on Baseball Memories.

Out & About: The beautiful Bufo |Apr 11, 2016

“Don’t touch it, you’ll get warts,” my mother exclaimed as she took one step back. She tried her best to convince me that she was a trained toad-ologist before she became a mother.

The Historian - Old shaving mugs: Tonsorial treasures |Apr 11, 2016

“Take thou a barber’s razor and cause it to pass upon thy beard.” - The Prophet Ezekial

Welcome to my World: Millie, the Mother |Apr 8, 2016

I know many good mother - my sisters, my children and my friends. But, I know of no other mother that exemplifies motherhood then my sister-in-law, Millie.

A Look Back in History: Those other baked goods of the Dutch Country |Apr 8, 2016

Indigenous PA Dutch people thrived on homemade Pennsylvania German cuisine for well over 300 years, and notably, this was a beer and pretzel culture celebrated by taverns and wayside inns in the historic Valleys of Southeastern PA.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Baseball memories, Part I |Apr 6, 2016

There are many ways to remember events of the past: what house you lived in, what grade of school you were in, the age of your siblings or kids, your job, stories of baseball games, just to name a few.

The Historian - Old time shooting matches: Part II |Apr 4, 2016

As detailed in last week’s column, in the 18th and 19th centuries most every tavern held one or more shooting matches during the fall and winter. Prizes attracted contestants who were usually found later patronizing the host taverns.

Out & About: Reddy Red |Apr 4, 2016

When my children were young one of their favorite movies was Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound” (1981). The story focuses on the unusual childhood friendship between a Red Fox called Tod and a hound dog named Copper, and the challenges they face to stay friends as they grow older and their natural instincts try to pull them apart.

Welcome to my World: For the love of warmth |Apr 1, 2016

Having been born in 1940 and raised on a farm with nine siblings, we didn’t always have the conveniences children do today. Yet, I can’t recall any winter day that our home was cold. As the first person out of bed, Pop was the one to go downstairs to the cellar and stoke the coal furnace.

A Look Back in History - From Rye to Riches: Part II |Apr 1, 2016

In continuing with additional thoughts on last week’s column, many wise Oley Valley Pennsylvanish Deitsch farm women saved their valuable “wheat” flour to be baked into bread they sold at town markets like Philadelphia for the hard cash it would bring to sustain their families.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Making things right |Mar 30, 2016

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful compliment to have someone say, “You are the most honest person I have ever met!” My answer would be, “Not necessarily!”