Founded December 17,1912    Ceased Publication Thursday February 1, 1951

Book 1 Volume 42

Original Volume 42 republished using KompoZer

Our Butternut

The masthead appearing above is not an accident nor is it meant to be a gimmick. My dad, George R. Elliston was the owner, founder, editor, and publisher of the Palmerton Press. I am trying in my own way to keep that banner visible to the world.

First and foremost this thing makes absolutely no attempt to be a real newspaper. For that one must read the Times News at I write this for my own enjoyment. I hope others will enjoy it also.

Below is the actual lead slug that was the masthead of the Palmerton Press in its days of operation. It now resides with son George R. Elliston 2nd.

slug reverse
Here it is shown reversed for all to read.


At this time I want to acknowledge the deep debt of gratitude to all those who have supported me in this endeavor. My wife, Queen is my inspiration and greatly augments my efforts. I realize that I sometimes must drive her nuts with my ravings and antics. However, her support has been indispensable.

My son George, grandsons; Andy, and Jason, have been instrumental in making these things appear at all. They supply the technical expertise to put and keep it on line.

I am particularly interested in reaching former Palmerton residents who my still find the old town a source of comfort and the remembrances of happy days.

Don’t expect much in the way of earth shattering events to appear here. This is how WE live. Oh occasional “Bobby’s” opinions will appear, but there is always the delete key. Ha!!

Thank God, my mentors all suffer an old 77-year-old fool well. My thanks to them all.

I also deeply appreciate the responses from my readers who seem to enjoy our view of life, as well as the pictures of our town and home. I regret that some readers still have problems opening the pictures. However, at least, now these pages don’t have to stand on their literary merits alone, Thank God!!

Saturday, September 04, 2004 7:06 AM 57 deg at LVIA and 58.6 in the bus stop
Once again it is the beginning of a new week’s web page or as George Ashman calls them Blogs. It is a foggy morning. I was pleased to hear that Queen is having better nights. We hope we are beginning to get a handle on her problem.

I would like to cut the grass this morning however the grass is very wet from the heavy dew.

It was good sitting up in the” tent” this morning with my 8 O’clock coffee. There isn’t much activity going on that I could see.

We went for our walk before breakfast. Then after getting my e-mail I decided to cut the grass. Golly whiz what a thing that turned into. I was over three quarters done when I hit something with the blade and everything stopped. I had broken the keyway on the hub holding the blade to the crankshaft of the engine. A trip to Shea’s and a confab with Bernie confirmed my fears. I took a digital picture of the broken area and showed him.


He sent me to Art’s Place just off of Interchange Road on 209 in Lehighton. He told me what I needed. Well it seemed that Dufas did not take along a make and  model number, and had to come back and get that. I called Queen on the cell phone. She was outside and by the time she got inside the answering machine had picked up. All I could hear was squealing from the feedback. So another trip was necessary and it did the trick. This time I took  Queen, my keeper, along with me. Finally after 12 noon I put it back together and finally finished the lawn. <Sigh> A note!! After finishing the grass I thought it did not cut well. I suspect the blade is in upside down!! I shall look at that later. I manage to keep life interesting sometimes though in a totally unintended manner!!

This afternoon I went to the pool for my swim. It was wonderful. No rest was needed today. I saw Howard Cyr and gave him a CD ROM of these web pages. He has difficulty opening these epistles from the e-mail I send. I hope that helps.

I got this from Bob Green. It is quite appropriate:

We're about to enter the peak of the hurricane season. Any day now, you're
going to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob
out in the Atlantic Ocean and making two basic meteorological points:
(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed.

Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Florida. If you're new to

the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the
possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one." Based on our experiences,
we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness
Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three
Put these supplies into your car.
Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween. Unfortunately,
statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most
people will foolishly stay here in Florida. We'll start with one of the most
important hurricane preparedness items:


If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this
insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic
(1) It is reasonably well-built, and
(2) It is located in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Florida, or any other area that

might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer
not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to
pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance
business in the first place. So you'll have to scrounge around for an
insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to
the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop
you like used dental floss. Since Hurricane George, I have had an estimated
27 different home-insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and
Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to
my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.


Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors,
and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are several types
of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself,

they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself,
they will fall off.

Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get

them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands
will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and

will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have
to sell your house to pay for them.

Hurricane-proof windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane

protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand
hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He
lives in Nebraska.

Hurricane Proofing Your Property:

As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like
barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc.. You
should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you
don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately).
Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.


If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned
out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your
driver's license; if it says "Florida," you live in a low-lying area).
The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your
home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic
traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand
other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.


If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them
now! Florida tradition requires that you wait until the last possible
minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with
strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM.
In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:
23 flashlights At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the
power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.
Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the
bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!)
A 55-gallon drum of underarm deodorant.
A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a
hurricane, but it looks cool.)
A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody who
went through Camille; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate alligators.)
$35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy
a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.
Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it
is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on
your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next
to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for
everybody to stay away from the ocean.
Good luck, and remember: It's great living in Paradise.

I got this from Henry Schwartz:

Subject: High School Answering Machine

(This is hilarious, no wonder some people were offended, however when the shoe fits---!)

This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High School (California) Staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework.
The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes.

This is the actual answering machine message for the school:
"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school.  In order to assist you in connecting the right staff member, please listen to all your options before making a selection:
"To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1
"To make excuses for why your child did not do his work- Press 2
"To complain about what we do - Press 3
"To swear at staff members - Press 4
"To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5
"If you want us to raise your child - Press 6
"If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7
"To request another teacher for the third time this year- Press 8
"To complain about bus transportation - Press 9
"To complain about school lunches - Press 0
"If you realize this is the real world and your child must be  accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it's not the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort:  Hang up and have a nice day!"

Incidentally he is an ex-teacher. Ha!!

This is also from Bob Green. I don’t know where he get them, but he sure does:

In a Laundromat:

In a London department store:

In an office:

In an office:

Outside a secondhand shop:

Notice in health food shop window:

Spotted in a safari park:

Seen during a conference:

Notice in a farmer's field:

On a repair shop door:

Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle).  We all need a good laugh, keep on smiling.
Tonight we had George’s early birthday dinner since he won’t be here on September 8 for his actual birthday. I hurried home from my swim and helped Queen prepare the dinner. She had a delicious turkey breast, stuffing, green beans, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, and a marble cake and coffee.

Tonight George once again cleared up a whole lot of problems that I have induced by curiosity or stupidity probably both. He has an excellent grasp of many of the fundamental workings of computers that I lack. I run around chasing symptoms and he has a far better understanding of the inner workings of the system which is very helpful in repairing my gaffs!! He knew just where to start looking. That helps. I use this key a lot.


I am very grateful for his assistance. He also brought along and installed the new power supply for the other computer that went up in smoke the other week. Now it is up and running and all is well again. I feel a whole lot safer with both machines in operating condition. It is like Charles Schwartz’s Peanuts character Linus. It is my security blanket. Ha!!

I know I cause George and his boys no end of problems with my dumb actions and emergencies but as I teasingly tell George, “Hey!!, it is all your fault. You got me interested in this stuff in the first place”

Sunday, September 05, 2004 7:19 AM 68 deg as LVIA and 65.3 in the bus stop
It is drizzling this morning and not at all conducive to going for a swim. However if they are open,I will be there. This morning my weight was 194 and my blood glucose was 139.

We went for our morning walk with umbrellas. It is always a nice day when I can walk with her. We saw Bob Ashman arriving at George’s house for the day.

I sat up in the tent thinks morning and while it is damp and dull outside it was very comfortable inside there.

I got an e-mail from Barbara Shepherd in Florida That I will share with you all.
From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/05/04 12:53:30

Subject: Re: Storm update

 Dear Bob,
          As I sit here watching the gusts of wind and rain I am truly amazed that I still have electricity.  I started to read your paper a little while ago
(couldn't bring it up til today) when I heard a snap and the screen went blank.  Sure that I would be eating cold food, I went to check.  Oddly my microwave over the stove was out, but that and my computer seem to be all that were affected.  I have a good surge protector on this, so I unplugged the microwave and returned after a bit to the computer. Voila, it came on, and here I am.

          The cruise line that my son and daughter-in-line finally connected to cancelled the trip before theirs, but assured them that they would be in the Miami port tomorrow.  Anyway, they took off today.  They left early to avoid the heavy traffic that they expect will be returning to that area.  Anyway, they called about 9:30 a.m. to tell me that they were not experiencing any wind, that they were past Punta Gorda, and the damage was dreadful. Especially in Punta Gorda;  they said that poles at intersections were snapped right in two, and buildings and debris strewn everywhere.

          It is hard to believe that there is so little damage here in my neighborhood.  Being on the southside of Frances is a factor.  We are not getting the full force of the wind, and seem to be coping with the rain so far.  Other than palm fronds in the yard from several of my trees, the shubbery continues to hang in there.  I noticed that my garage door creaks and flutters some each time there is a gust, and, of course I hear the wind pretty constantly, but like the Broadway song "I'm still here...."  I did notice one of my envelope closet doors rattling, and since it was inside I wondered.  The second time a light bulb went on in my head; I opened it and a very disgusted Marmelade walked past me.  My county is Manatee, and there is a tornado warning from here to north of Tampa.  Too the high tide tonight and tomorrow could bring high water inland, but so far we're O.K.  Sarasota county is south of here.

          This is it for now.  The sad thing is that though diminished in velocity, this storm is slow moving, and has enough power to continue to do terrible damage to the state.  I guess you know that Gov. Bush has declared the state a disaster area.

          I was so sorry to hear that Queen is having medical problems.  I hope that all will be controlled soon.  She has my best wishes; you both do.  Barbara

My God but they are really being slammed down there. I see on the news that another storm is behind this one on a similar track. I hope they are all spared further from all this mess. I guess it is like our God awful snows every once and a while the law of averages catches up with us all.

This afternoon Tommy stopped by and I called the pool to see if they would be open. They were and he went swimming. I had to go to Rite-Aid first for my blood pressure medication. After I got back I too went. The water temperature was 72 degrees which wasn’t too bad but I cut it short at 10 laps instead of 20. Hey a half loaf is better than none.

It is chilly getting out with no sunshine. I figured that at 77 years I don’t have to prove a damn thing to anyone.

I am delighted to receive this from Barbara Shepherd. Apparently she is weathering the storm as well as possible. I as well as many others enjoy her letters. So here is a continuation of them.

From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/05/04 18:51:06
Subject: Re: Girdle debate update

Dear Bob, 
Tried to send you an article on the above subject, but ran into some sort of computer entanglement.  Let me know if it does not arrive.

Meanwhile,  rain and wind continue.  There are people in 10 shelters in this county, plus one for people with disabilities.  Cat extremely nervous.  She follows me about like a puppy.

Shep and Xiao Hong arrived in Miami where they were met with torrential rains, but the hotel which was closed, opened at 3 p.m. so they found a restaurant operating and settled down from 1 to 3 for a leisurely lunch and then check in.

Linda and Bill called to see if I'm O.K.  They lost electricity 2x's, but it came back on again.  Tornado watch until 9 p.m.  Rain and wind seem to have picked up.  Pretty constant right now.  Meanwhile, fear of high tides prevail, and the Manatee River is on flood watch.  It was already fuller than normal.  It flows right through our downtown area.  It is wet, wet, wet outside.  Report on TV - winds in the north part of Frances have diminished to 30 miles per with gusts to 60.

What I sent earlier, if it went through, is fairly long.  Read it, and maybe you would rather just send it over to Betsy.  Sitting here with virtually nothing to do but keep watch made me wordy.  Did she publish the first story?  If not she can deep six this one.  It wo
n't hurt my feelings.
Best,  Barbara

Now at 8:21 PM dinner is over. We had a boneless pork chop each, succotash, baked potato, mixed veggies, fresh tomato, and low fat cottage cheese. Coffee and birthday cake on the front porch finished the meal in fine style.

The kids have returned to Lafayette Avenue to their place. They will be headed back to Arm Pit Delaware [Wilmington] tomorrow before too late to avoid the traffic.

Someone sent me this picture of an 8th grade class at SS Palmer High School. They didn’t define the year though.

8th grade

Somehow that looks to me like somebody’s classroom.  I am not sure. Perhaps a reader will recognize someone.

Monday, September 06, 2004 7:18 AM 55 deg at LVIA and 54.3 in the bus stop
It looks like a clear beautiful Labor Day this morning. My blood glucose was 143 and my weight 192.

Here is today‘s message from Barbara,

From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/05/04 22:35:15

To: Bob Elliston

Subject: Re: Last update for the day/night

Just had a long period of torrential rain.  Fairly quiet now.  Gusts to 35miles per.  Wind has diminished  a lot.  TV went out twice, but is back now.  Meanwhile, flood watch is on.   Latest bulletin - boil water for drinking - people are to remain in shelters.  This storm is so slow going across the state that it will be here through tomorrow.  The waves are really high.  No one can go to our islands for the bridges have been closed since two days ago.  I have no idea how things look in the center of town.

          Shep reports that their cruise from Miami is delayed 10 hours tomorrow.  At this point he said they don't really care whether they sail or not.  I can see that there is still bad weather down there, and should think it would be hard to put into port with the seas running so high.  Also with Ivan out there, it could be dicey getting back in at the end of the cruise.  I told him he might have a couple of extra days of cruising.  He didn't sound happy.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but all of our properties seem to be alright as of now.  How I hope that Ivan misses Florida.  We've had way too much.  Also, I don't know how long I can be this lucky.  Before dark I saw branches fly off the tree in the neighbor's yard behind me.  He has a fence, and that is apparently keeping the stuff in his yard.  Will see what tomorrow brings.  It continues to rain, lightly now, but constant.  Estimate during the downpour was 1.5 inches per hour.  Signing out for the night.


This morning we went for our walk. On the way we stopped by George Ashman’s home to invite him along with Tommy for a Labor Day Mac and Cheese meal this evening.

From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/05/04 18:51:06
To: Bob Elliston

Dear Bob, 
Rain and wind continue.  There are people in 10 shelters in this county, plus one for people with disabilities.  Cat extremely nervous.  She follows me about like a puppy.

Shep and Xiao Hong arrived in Miami where they were met with torrential rains, but the hotel which was closed, opened at 3 p.m. so they found a restaurant operating and settled down from 1 to 3 for a leisurely lunch and then check in.
Linda and Bill called to see if I'm O.K.  They lost electricity 2x's, but it came back on again.  Tornado watch until 9 p.m.  Rain and wind seem to have picked up.  Pretty constant right now.  Meanwhile, fear of high tides prevail, and the Manatee River is on flood watch.  It was already fuller than normal.  It flows right through our downtown area.  It is wet, wet, wet outside.  Report on TV - winds in the north part of Frances have diminished to 30 miles per with gusts to 60.
Best,  Barbara

George and Kathy will be heading back soon. We hate to see them go.

<1:19 PM>. They just left for Delaware. They certainly look forward to spending some time here in our little backwater of the world. I gather life is a lot less hectic here. I know working for a living sucks but then it is darn hard to do without eating! <Sigh>

From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/06/04 12:36:57
To: Bob Elliston

Dear Bob,

When I woke this a.m. I was amazed to see really strong gusts of wind and rain.  This is supposed to be in the Panhandle!  Turning on the TV I learned that a strong storm was all up the coast, including Western Manatee which is this area.  The gusts were 50 to 55 miles an hour.  New evacuations from Manatee, probably along the river, for the high tide was in and pushing water up the rivers.  Dauntless, I waited for a gust to die down somewhat, took off for Shep's to feed and water their kitties, to be caught with another strong wind as I ascended their outdoor stairway.  They are in a two story condo, with a pretty stairway up the outside of the building.  Not so pretty today.  My umbrella was useless, and I had trouble hanging onto the screen door while unlocking the door, and then getting it all closed again.

 Their electricity is gone.  According to the neighbors in a twin building next door a transformer that feeds both buildings went out at seven last night.  A huge plant on their lanai was down, but the cats were fine.  Took care of them, checked to see if the oldsters next door would like some warm food, turns out they have a son and daughter-in-law in  the area, and came home - drenched.

 This should be over by tomorrow morning.  I'm hungry to see some sun.  Anyway, I plan to be in Sarasota tomorrow noon to have lunch with some friends.  I called the restaurant, which will be open, and barring something unforseen should be able to shake this claustrophobic existence.

Interesting note:  Something you don't have to worry about during your winter storms.  There have been constant pleas and warnings on the TV coverage, which is on 24 hrs a day, for people,  mostly tourists, to stay off the roads and to stop wading in the flood waters.  During floods snakes and alligators swim them searching for high ground.  Of course there is also the danger of downed power lines in the water.  Vehicles are stranded by the high water, and they get in the way of the emergency crews.  The bridges to Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach island are now open for those crews, and folks are going out to look.  They do not realize the danger in being close to the water.  A sudden high wave can wash one right into the Gulf.  During Tropical storms those waves wash right up, over the roads and across and into the Bay.  Meanwhile the Bay waters wash into the towns on the mainland.  Unfortunately incautious visitors do not heed the warnings, and there are always drownings.

Signing off now, but just noticed that my side neighbor's grapefruit and avacdo trees have shed their fruit all over our side yards.  I loooove avacados, but cannot eat grapefruit unfortunately for I'm on a blood thinner.  This storm has wrecked the orange groves, I hear.  This is certainly one of the worst storms in Florida history.  It covered such a vast area with slow forward movement.  It has done, and continues to do,  immeasurable damage.

 Thank you for your kind wishes, if we escape Ivan there will be many Hosannahs raised down here.  I and mine, and my dearest friends down here have been so fortunate; I am more thankful than you can imagine.  Barbara
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From: Laura Shepherd

Date: 09/06/04 18:23:56

To: Bob Elliston

Subject: Re: End of the day

Dear Bob,

For a day that began dark and dreary, it is ending on a beautiful note.  About 4:45 I noticed that it had become quiet and it was a bit brighter outside.  No wind, no rain. Putting down my task, I wandered out to the lanai and sat down just to watch.  Dark clouds were moving toward the shore when I saw a few birds fly by.  Then a few more.  Gradually the dark clouds lightened, the day became brighter, and by about 6 the clouds were white, with tiny pockets of blue. Suddenly it became lovely and bright as the sun burst through.  What a welcome sight.  Then I saw a few dragonflies, actually one butterfly (how do you suppose it made it?) and finally the lizards surfaced, not on the ground but on the screens and limbs of bushes and trees. Drying out, I suppose.  It felt like a benediction.  I picked up a book, put up my feet, and Marmalade rolled over on her back completely at ease, and fell asleep after being a nervous cat the past few days.

 Shredded leaves and small branches are all over the yard and the street,  the bushes are leaning forward and look tired, but one hibiscus actually has three blooms on it.  One palm tree has very little on top Tomorrow is clean up day.  It will take more than one, but there is peace again in my world. Amen.  Barbara

Barbara was kind enough to continue the saga of the “girdle” Her stuff is good.

From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/05/04 18:51:04
To: Bob Elliston

Subject: Re: Girdle debate
Hi again, Bob.
          Since there isn't much to do during a hurricane it seems a good time to continue the debate about the girdle.  Encouraged, obviously, by the note from Joe, here goes.  I will be 80, as he mentions his mother is, before the end of this month;  she will surely relate to this tale.
          I think of it as part of the liberation of women.  Bra burning occurred decades later, so this does not include that group who are the baby boomers of today.  Besides, it is certain that most of them learned that the bra is a very necessary article of clothing.
          After WWII Rosie the Riveter, and all those other patriotic women gave up their jobs to the returning soldiers, with pride and some wistfulness.  They proved that they could be a dynamic work force, and the extra money was a big help.  Well, that attitude evolved, with a lot of bumps in the road, to what you see today.  Three quarters of all married women, most of them moms, are part of the American work force.  What, you may ask, has that to do with the girdle?  You will see.

          Having eluded further contact with Dr. Marjorie during my college years, and thus a girdle check, I was graduated, went to work, and was married a year later.  Happy as a young wife, life tooted along with the eventual birth two years later of our first child.  Those were the days when a young mother stayed in the hospital for a week.

          Back home and proud of our new offspring, there was a sudden jolt when my mother announced that we were going shopping for a GIRDLE.  Still my mother's child, not yet completely emancipated, are we ever? I dutifully went picturing a little elasticized panties thing.  At Hess's Department store, straight to the lingerie department, Mother announced that I had recently given birth and needed to be fitted for a girdle.  The next hour was an awakening of the humungous dragons of torture.  I was pushed into a garment that had those metal stays that my brother and I used to bend and shoot at each other when we found one that my mother pulled out of one of her old corsets when it poked through the material.  Further, it laced up the front like army boots with my complaining flesh stuffed into it.  My mother assured me that this was the only way to "keep your figure."

          At home I took the thing off as soon as my mother left (we won't go into the expression on my husband's face when he saw it), and put it on again about a week later when she and my dad returned to take us out for dinner.  Sitting in a car in one of those instruments of torment is excruciating.  One can not relax for it pokes the anatomy whenever there is movement, and wherever. AND it leaves marks on unprotected skin! When we returned, I took the thing off and threw it away.  Much later, when she discovered that I was not wearing it and I actually confessed to the toss, my mother gave me a "That wasn't wise" look.  After saluting her for the years and years she endured such a contraption, after saying I loved her, but could not join her in that brand of suffering, we never spoke of it again.

          However, dear reader, that was a continuation of the liberation of this woman begun without realizing it at the tender age of six. Without detracting in any way on the excellent care that women and children received from Dr. Marjorie, for she was a formidable force and advanced for her time, those of Dr. Jane's ilk were a fresh breeze on the horizon.  She was just as formidable in her care, which was assuring, but she spoke the language and embraced the attitude of a new generation.

          As you probably discern, your writer is a longtime woman's libber.  Well on the way when I skipped school in first grade, never realizing then that I was trying to knock down barriers,  I believe in goals and dreams.  It  was my fortune to have parents who let me set the first and follow the second even when they didn't agree.  But that came later in life after hours of parental guidance, and my foot stamping which counted for naught.  Ah yes, and my mother never wore pantyhose, and girdles have no place in my, nor my daughters, nor their daughters households.  And I was caught skipping!

Best always,  Barbara

This afternoon nephew Dick Guyer dropped by and the two of us went to the pool.  When we got there, George Ashman and Tommy Davies joined our group.

Dick          Tom          Dick and George


I got my 20 laps in and it went very well.  We missed Howard Cyr.  He went to Maine for a week.  As I entered the pool Larry asked me if I would be available tomorrow morning at nine to help take the pool park benches down to the festival site in the park.  He wants to beat the rain if possible.  I said it was fine with me.  He plans on keeping the pool open after 3 pm until Thursday.  That also is great with me. The pool wasn't exactly crowded but it was nice just being able to be there.

This afternoon at the pool I spoke with Joe Lach.  I told him of his sister Jane's interest in also receiving these web pages.  So far they go out to about 136 subscribers. As usual I always enjoy e-mails from you all. I am also glad to get pictures about you and your past. I sometimes get stuff that I simply can’t use mostly due to space limitations. I am still trying to get my web space size down to levels that won’t set off alarm bells at Prolog. It is a lot better but I need to do more.  Ah if only they would*****.<Sigh>

This evening we had Queen’s superb Mac and Cheese, Kielbasa sausage, stewed tomatoes coffee and cake. There wasn’t much left I can assure you.

Then we all sat on the front porch and had a great time just visiting. Dick left for Bethlehem and George Ashman and Tommy headed back home.

I am delighted to receive these letters from Barbara Shepherd in Florida. They have really been getting hammered with all these storms. Doc Cyr was telling us how nearly impossible it is to get insurance on a home at his Ft. Myers, Florida location. The building codes have all been drastically changed. A house must now be built 6 to 8 feet above ground level. How would you like to carry your groceries in a house that high off the ground? Gee!!

Apparently Barbara also lived on the Gulf side of the state but further up near Tampa Bay area of the Western Manatee.


Tuesday, September 07, 2004 7:19 AM 64 deg at LVIA and 66.2 in the bus stop
It looks like rain anytime this morning. As far as I know the trip to take the benches to the festival is still on.

I was nice have Dick Guyer here for a visit and supper yesterday. We all had a good time and nobody went hungry! Ha! We are glad that he keeps in touch with his Mom’s side of the family. We had lots of fun talking about the past as well as the present as well as how we are all doing. From his conversation I am glad to hear something I suspected for a long time my sister also had the “Elliston” short fuse some times. Apparently I was not the only one with that affliction.  Ha!!

I shall be going up to our park bench with my 8 O’clock coffee soon with Butternut. Well before 8AM we went for our walk. Since today is the dreaded sheet day Queen decided to cut the walk short. Today’s wash will be a biggie.

<10:28 AM> I am back from moving the park benches. We had a very good gang of men there. I think we all had a good time doing it. Don Browne, Harry Brown, Keith Billig, Willard George, Frank Carazo, a young man whose name I don’t know who is a pool worker, Larry and myself. Nobody had to kill them selves with work. Truly many hands did indeed make for light work. Monday morning we will pick them all up again and store them for the winter. I expect to get a swim sometime today.

benches1       benches2

I also took some video also of this adventure but I can’t display it here. Now at 1 PM the weather has much improved. I think I will wait for my usual time to go swimming.

There is a lot of activity in the park these days. When we were taking the benches down cars and trucks were coming and going. At last report none of the tents had arrived on the scene.

While I was away I talked Queen into calling Dr. Koleki, our cardiologist who is here in town at his Palmerton office today. I asked her to fill him in on her dry mouth problem since we suspect two of the medications he has prescribed are possibly at fault in this thing. We both have an appointment later this month with him but at least he will be forewarned of the situation when we see him.

After I got back we went to Aldi where Queen to got some of their daffodil bulbs that are on sale this week. Then a quick trip to Giant for some yogurt and a couple of other items and we came home about 12 noon. Poor Queen she got the last load of wash in just about 3 PM.

I called the hearing aid people in Lehighton this afternoon to get service on my hearing aid. It flat out quit on Saturday. No changing of batteries made the slightest difference I got an appointment for tomorrow at 2 PM.

Now at 2:56 PM I will be leaving for my swim.

<5:07 PM> I am back from my swim. It was the usual crowd of true believers there today for a late swim. As I was walking over to the area where George Ashman and I usually sit I passed Howard Witham who was sitting on one of the two metal benches left after we took all the rest of them to the festival. He told me that his daughter likes these epistles. I am glad. I do it strictly for fun. It wasn’t long before Howard was swimming beside me there in the pool.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004 7:16 AM 68 deg at LVIA and 68.7 in the bus stop

This morning the blood glucose was 148 and the weight 195. It looks like rain at anytime. However that didn’t stop us from going on our regular walk. We met Marlene and Lee as they too were walking. Our umbrellas kept the rain temporarily at bay.

Queen did not have a very comfortable night last night. Her dry mouth problems along with being overtired from yesterday’s big wash all played a large part in her discomfort.

I got the car out and went downtown to buy some tomatoes. I got them at the new grocery store where Werley’s used to be located. They are from Lancaster County and look big, red, and ripe.

When I went downtown the tents have arrived and a crews are busy setting them up for the festival.

Then I got out the gas weed whacker and was forced to quit because of rain. I did get most of what I intended to do,done. The bank was particularly bad looking. However the grass looks as though it could be cut again.

It sure doesn’t bode well for the prospects of a swim today. We must go to Lehighton for a 2 PM appointment with the audiologist. I suspect it will have to go back to the factory or some sort of service center.

<Later> My God!! What a "dufas". We got back about 2:15. All that was wrong was that the wax guard was blocked up solid. If it isn’t clear of ear wax no sound of any kind will be heard. None, nada, zip!! I didn’t know that.  Maybe I ought to read the instructions this trip might not have been necessary!! Nah. That will never happen.

Bonnie the young lady in charge of that office also set the controls on the old non-digital machine that I bought from Carbon Optical when they were still in business across the street in Lehighton. Now I am using it also and it seems to help somewhat. We met our old Friend Miles Young up there at the Audiologists office. He to is a partially deaf old geezer! Ha!!

It has really been raining. A swim is out of the question. There are weather advisories up all over the computer for flash floods.

However if the pool called I would go.

I see that they got the tents up before the ground really got really soggy. That makes for a much better environment when visiting those places during the festival. It looked as though the “Pool Pals” tent was up also.

Thursday, September 09, 2004 7:47 AM 75 deg at LVIA and 74.3 in the bus stop
The blood glucose was 138 and the weight 195 this morning.

It must have rained pitchforks and hammer handles last night. There is a lot of debris about the yard and the cover Queen got for the glider had blown off and was in the ground this morning when I went up there with my coffee. The glider itself was dry. It is still raining now. We plan to do our shopping this morning.

The weather sounds good for the festival. But now I see hurricane Ivan is on track for a possible landfall near Barbara Shepherd in Florida. I hope and pray not.

I just got these from neighbor Mike:

Robot Bartender

There was this new bar in town that everyone was talking about because it had a robot bartender.  A man walks in to see this for himself.  He sits at the bar and sure enough, a robot was bartending.  The man orders a drink, and the robot asks him what his IQ is.  The man replies that his IQ is 150.  So the robot begins discussing nuclear physics, hydrogen power cells, and the current state of the global atmosphere.  The man is amazed.  He has to see how good this robot really is.  He leaves the bar and comes right back in and sits at the bar.  Again, the robot asks him for his IQ.  This time the man replies "100." So the robot discusses football, basketball, and the proper way to grill a steak.  The man leaves and comes back in for a third time.  This time he tells the robot that his IQ is 60.  The robot replies: "So, are you democrats really going to vote for this guy, Kerry?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Pope & the Rabbi
Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert or leave Italy.  There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal..  He would have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community.  If the Jews won, they could stay in Italy, if the Pope won, they would have to leave.  The Jewish people met and picked an aged but wise Rabbi, Moishe, to represent them in the debate.  However, as Moishe spoke no Italian and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they all agreed that it would be a "silent" debate.  On the chosen day, the Pope and Rabbi Moishe sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.  Rabbi Moishe looked back and raised one finger.  Next the Pope waved his finger around his head.  Rabbi Moshe pointed to the ground where he sat.  The Pope then brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine.  Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple.  With that, the Pope stood up and declared that he was beaten, that Rabbi Moishe was too clever and that the Jews could stay.  Later, the Cardinals met with the Pope, asking what had happened.  The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity.  He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there is still only one God common to both our beliefs.  Then, I waved my finger to show him that God was all around us.  He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us.  I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us of all our sins.  He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin.  He had me beaten and I could not continue." Meanwhile the Jewish community were gathered around Rabbi Moishe.  "How did you win the debate?" they asked.  "I haven't a clue," said Moishe, "First he said to me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I said to him, Up yours!  Then he tells me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews and I said to him, we're staying right here." "And then what," asked a woman.  "Who knows?" said Moishe, "He took out his lunch so I took out mine."

Love them!!!

I doubt if we go for a walk this morning it is too wet. However this is definitely a tropical air mass over us. It sprinkles and showers a bit but also the sun is out. It is very humid and muggy.

<Later> We did our shopping this morning and got back well before noon. It wasn’t a bit crowded and the stores were well stocked. We saw Marie Deiter at Country Harvest. It is always good to see her.

We stopped at the TN office to see the folks there. Patty was not there but Linda, Sharon, and Joel were all busy as beavers at work. Sharon said she has to get over to the festival site for some pictures for the paper of the activity going on.

After we got home and put all the stuff away I went down to the park with my camera and shot some pictures of the set up activities. I entered the park from the Lafayette Avenue side opposite the Episcopal Church. By tomorrow it will be a very busy place.

fest1          fest2          fest3
The workmen were in the process of installing the stage. Apparently it is powered by its own generator, which I see is marked as an extra quiet unit.
          fest4          fest5
The stage area in it’s setup mode                                   The fruits of our labor

fest6          fest7

Here is Prolog’s food stand

fest8            fest9

Here is tent city.

fest10       fest11          fest12

The Pool Pals Chinese auction is being set up along with the big vendor’s tent empty

ride1          ride2          ride3

The rides being set up.


The Relief Stations!


Little Gap Historical Society's Covered Bridge

By tomorrow this park will be a very busy place with it all starting about 5 PM.
Tonight for supper we had a pair of boneless salmon steaks, a a baked potato, an ear of Mike’s corn on the cob, mixed veggies, fresh tomatoes, cottage cheese, and I had a slice of cantaloupe with a dollop of ice cream in it. A cup of coffee finished it off. It was excellent. However there was no swimming today. <Sigh>

Friday, September 10, 20047:24 AM 59 deg at LVIA and 61.3 in the bus stop

It is a bright clear morning with sunny skies and cool temperatures. It looks like a very good start for their Palmerton Community Festival starting this evening. This morning the blood glucose is 132 and the weight 194.

We went for our full walk this morning. It felt good walking with Queen. She said she had a better night and seems to thing things are getting better. I an glad to hear that.

We both had to laugh as we approached the corner at 3rd Street and Columbia Avenue. A young boy was running up the hill. As he was about 15 feet from the top he called for us to wait. Were we going to cross the street at that crossing? We replied "Yes". So he scurried out into the middle of the street and held traffic for us. We thanked him and told him that he was doing a fine job. There is one young man who takes that job seriously. Many of them don’t. I don’t know him but I suspect he has a good attitude for this life. He should do well.

I want to go downtown soon but then I want to get this web page out early today. After I got home I cut the grass but not before reversing the blade on the mower. I suspect a new one is needed. As usual it was cut a while and rest awhile. In fact last week Queen told me that neighbor Al Long asked her if I was all right. She explained it was my loaf and work method of doing it. That was nice of him to ask.

Queen is cleaning up around the outside of the house. She is taking off dead flowers and other debris about the place. She trimmed all the boxes down at street level as well. As usual she saw a lot of people passing by. Shirley, Gail and her dog stopped by and chatted with her. In the mean time Butternut took great and loud exception to Queen petting Gail’s dog. They bet I was lamenting the lack of swimming. They were correct.

Neighbor Mike cut and trimmed his lawn as well. They he cut down the Chinese chestnut tree growing in front of our garage along with a bunch of our weeds. I think he was shamming me into doing something about it. He beat me to it. Ha!!

I saw this sign at the festival set up yesterday. It makes quite a statement


The poor "Froggies" !! A sign of the times!!

A bit of research on Google quickly told me that my memory has not failed me. Mark Twain held the French in considerable disdain so the above is nothing new!! Ha!!

In certain public indecencies the difference between a dog & a Frenchman is not perceptible. October 1878 - February 1879

French are the connecting link between man & the monkey. Feb.- Sept. 1879

M. de Lamester's new French dictionary just issued in Paris defines virtue as: "A woman who has only one lover and don't steal."
- quoted in A Bibliography of Mark Twain, Merle Johnson

France has usually been governed by prostitutes.  Feb.- Sept. 1879

 Please love one another. Mom and Bob [Queen and Bobby]   

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