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

Book 1 Volume 45

Our Butternut

This is the original version of Volume 45 re-worked with Nvu

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.
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  masthead of the Palmerton Press in its days of operation.
It now resides with son George R. Elliston 2nd.
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. Sometimes the blue smoke emitting from my ears is not pretty. However, her love, support, and help have been indispensable. She is my proofreader and censor.
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 can type the words, but they keep the press running! Ha!
      I am particularly interested in reaching not only current Palmertonians, but also 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 Queen and I live. Oh, an occasional “Bobby’s” ranting opinion will appear. This is run as an autocracy not a democracy. Hey, there is always the delete key.
   Thank God, my mentors all suffer an old 77-year-old fool well. I wish to express my thanks to everyone.
    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. Grandson Andy says this is basically a letter with pictures. Actually it is more of a diary with pictures.
 I regret that some readers still have problems opening the pictures. However at least these pages don’t have to stand on their literary merits alone, Thank God!!

Saturday, September 25, 2004 7:18 AM 55 deg at LVIA and 58.4 in the bus stop
 Today is a Saturday and the beginning of as new week of these web pages. As of today my Prolog web allocation is 9.48 MB that is about all I will be able to keep on line. Next week I shall delete the oldest web page in order to remain compliant.
Yesterday I took Queen up to Meadowcrest to Karen Arner’s beauty shop for a perm.

She came out looking really great

I was also fortunate yesterday to get a call from Larry Arner at PMPA for a swim. The water was warmer than the day before but now with the pumps shut down the water temperature is very uneven. In some places it had to be 73 or as much as 76 degrees.  But in other areas it must have been in the 60’s. I quickly discovered the warmest spot was in the center on the pool. So after a couple of regular laps I swam out halfway turned 90 degrees and then swam the length of the pool until my fingers scrapped bottom, Turning around and swimming back to the diving boards. That worked quite well. But, I had to hurry back to take Queen to the beauty saloon [salon]. I did take the time to speak with Larry and Suzy who were there. Suzy was getting about with crutches, as well as a brace or support on her leg. She has had a lot of physical problems with that leg. However she doesn’t let that slow her down. She reminds me of my Queen!!
Last night for supper Queen had steak sandwiches. They were very good although my blood sugar this morning is 140 and my weight 196 which is not as good as I might wish. <Sigh>

One thing that does please me is yesterday’s report from the Miller Blood center to tell me that my cholesterol was 166. That is down 40 points from my last Miller visit which was the time before their last visit. I am now a strong advocate of Fiber-One. That is the only thing I changed since then. That was done at Dr. Nicholson’s suggestion after my” blueberry trots” incident <Harrumph>. It seemed to be quite effective in helping lower that level. A drop of 40 points is nothing to sneer at!!

We went for our walk this morning and it was very foggy. However it was great being able to walk with my sweetie.


We went for our new one-mile walk again. Queen and I both know that I in particular must keep up my exercise level. I would much rather walk than work on those stupid asinine boring machines at the fitness center. Plus there is the fact that there is always something of interest to see when we walk if one but bothers to look. Staring at those TV sets at the fitness center walking on the damn treadmill while tuned to some silly woman’s program stinks.

I am still attempting to catch up with information regarding last weeks post!! This morning I got e-mails from Bob Green. This is one that is well worth reading. It concerns Palmerton and its location on the Appalachian Trail. It is a blog where hikers  discuss hiking in general. This is something that I knew, but did not fully recognize many of its facets!! It is interesting. Roger Danielson, the borough manager, put a note in the blog keeping the hikers informed as to the borough’s intentions.

This picture can be found on the above site. It was taken by a hiker and posted on the site.
Bob Green also informed me about the picture below

 “I noticied the Stemler Motor Company Buick dealership on the left and the weigh yourself scales outside at Hawk’s Sweet Shop. Across the street is an awning. I wonder if that isn’t a part of the building that held Diehl’s bakery. The picture looks as though it was taken in the 1920’s or early 1930s.”
 That picture on the postcard reportedly is from 1934.

Thanks Bob

Also from George Ashman is the following.

Bob - On the '31-'32 basketball team photo, I'm pretty sure that the man to the right of Bill Braucher is Willard Wihelm.  To the right of them, past the basketball player, is D. L. Learn.  I don't recognize any of the
players, but that team was one of PHS's more successful ones, as I recall, so there are probably articles in The Palmerton Press about them. And we (LGHS) might have Mirrors from that era.
From: Clair Hoffman
Date: 09/25/04 10:58:54
To: Bob Elliston
Subject: The Palmerton Press- 9/24/2004 edition
 Dear Bob,
     Re the photo on page three of subject edition. I  am class of '40 at P.H.S. and thus a fourth grader in Franklin when the basketball team photo was taken--1931-32 team.
    But I do well remember coach Bill Braucher, assistant couch Bill Wilhelm standing next to Braucher and the other faculty member in the back row was Dr. Learn who taught 12th. grade social studies. I'm sorry  but I do not recognize any of the players.
    I continue to enjoy your "hobby".   Clair

For larger views of the two pictures above see last week’s web page.

<11:06 AM> We just got back from a trip to the bank and the delivery of Doctor Jane’s birthday cake. Queen has made a birthday cake for her every year for the past 55 years without missing once. I am married to quite a remarkable girl.

After our banking trip we stopped out at George’s home on Lafayette Avenue to see the progress with his latest landscaping project. He is removing stones from an area along the west side of the house relocating them on the other side and will eventually put in place new topsoil he got yesterday from the Zeigenfus Coal Co. and will seed it at a later date.

This afternoon we took Butternut for his walk down to 4th Street and back. He seems to thoroughly enjoy it and now behaves much better on a leash. Of course he stops at every tree to inspect and water them. One thing about walking a Beagle is as soon as they leave the house their noses go down on the ground and don’t look up until they get home.

While we were out Larry must have phoned but I never bothered to look at the answering machine!! <Sheez>

Tonight the Elliston’s were here for supper. We had a slice of ham, a yam each, green beans, fresh tomatoes, applesauce, cottage cheese, and chocolate cake for dessert. Then we all sat on the front porch ate our dessert and just sat and talked awhile. It was good to have them here.


Sunday, September 26, 2004 7:25 AM  64deg at LVIA and 63.3 in the bus stop
This morning the blood glucose is 134 and the weight 195. It looks like it will be a nice day, today.

I was up on the “park bench” this morning enjoying my cup of 8 O’clock coffee as well as the beautiful day. Unfortunately the sun has moved in about a week a few more degrees south. <Sigh>
This just came from Barbara in Florida. She sent it at 9:30 this morning!

Subject: Re: The Palmerton Press
 Hi Bob,
My computer is not behaving.  I haven't been able to pull up this week's
news lettter from you, but am writing while I have electricity, and hope
this goes out to you.
     We are experiencing a nasty surprise.  Jeanne was not supposed to come to
the west coast of Florida, so people here did not board up their windows
this time,  That includes me.  The winds are really strong - more velocity
than we had with Francine.  Several friends have called to tell me that
their electricity is out.  There was a sudden mandatory evacuation notice to
all mobile home owners and to those in low lying areas here and in Sarasota.
We have 1900 people in shelters now; the rain is projected to be up[to 3
inches.  Tampa is in the direct line of the hurricane; apparently it is
swooping by us on the way there.. One thing we are learning is that
hurricanes are completely unpredictable, though they seem determined to hit
Florida somewhere.
     I do admire the newspaper people.  They delivered the paper a bit late, but
it came.  I went out to retrieve it from the driveway quickly so it wouldn't
blow away.  The rain is horizontal, and I was completely drenched from that
short run in and out.  Had to change out of wet clothes and into dry ones.
There are palm fronds all over my backyard.  I can live with that.
My grandaughter flew in from Philadelphia last evening, and had a windy trip
to Bradenton from Tampa.  Now the airports are closed and the bridges locked
down.  Nice intro to a vacation,  This is Shep's daughter, and we don't see
her often for she is a working gal.
Keep well.  Swimmingly,  Barbara ----- Original Message -----

We went for our morning walk had breakfast and now Queen is working in the kitchen.

This morning on our walk it looked as though the area up around the new retirement center has been seeded with grass. That should help the water run off problems a lot.

Here is another letter from Barbara from Florida,

From: Laura Shepherd
Date: 09/26/04 13:28:54
To: Bob Elliston
Subject: Re: The Palmerton Press
 Hi again from not at all sunny Florida,
I lost this twice today, and this is the second time I've tried to give you an update.  Just in case, I'll keep it short.
 One tree is down in the front yard (not too huge), have a cat who sleeps and stalks about at my heels with her ears flattened, a neighbor's avocado that is leaning dangerously, and looks like it will fall during one of the strong gusts of wind.  I've eyeballed it, and think it will miss my house by inches.  Right now it looks like the leaning tower of Pisa. Thumps against the side of my house are being caused by the grapefruit that didn't fall during Frances.  Actually, I think they are all down by now.  No window shots thank goodness.  All in all, complete with electricity, I can't complain.  My tv is out, but that's O.K. The kids are all fine, and I suspect that this will begin to abate in about another hour.  Rain continues heavy and the wind sound is constant.  Never thought I would learn to dislike the sound of wind.  We are sooooo lucky!  
It is the weirdest sensation to feel thankful and then guilty, for our luck is someone else's misery.
 Again, thank you for caring.  Barbara.
This afternoon Queen got a call from Larry Arner. He wanted to know if I wanted a swim. He said he  would be up there for about an hour. Well, I went and got my 10 laps. The water was wonderful and I didn't detect any cold spots as I swam. The water level must have fallen about 2 feet.    
Willard George came also and he said he was awaiting a call from his people in Florida about the condition of the property he owns down there.
Tonight Kathy and George were here and we had a crock-pot meal for supper. Queen and I started it this morning. It was really good. We had fresh sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese, and Pillsbury’s “grand” biscuits. We had cookies and coffee for dessert.
This just came from Barbara,
Last message.  I fell asleep a couple of hours ago.  Awake now - all is still.  Tomorrow we will pick up the debris.  TV still out.  This will be a good goodnight.  Barbara

Here is an interesting blog or web site,

George helped me with my computer after supper and everyone had a great time. He has been busy all week working about their property down there. He was painting today.


Monday, September 27, 2004 7:22 AM 57 deg at LVIA and 53 deg in the bus stop
The blood glucose is131 and the weight 197. <Sigh>
After my cup of coffee up in the “tent,” I took the recyclables to the alley and then got the car out.
Queen arrived downstairs with the wash basket and we decided to go for our walk first thing. We noticed on our walk two young ladies acting as crossing guards the morning. Unlike the boys they simply ignored us “geezers” as we approached the 3rd Street intersection.

Now Queen is fixing breakfast before she starts the wash. At least it is not the big wash such as she had last week.

As anyone knows who reads even a bit of what I write knows that I have always been a strong advocate of computers and their potential. Below is an excerpt from an article in the Wall St Journal regarding Iraq.
“Another important consequence was our ability now to access modern means of communications, such satellite and computers. Satellite television was banned under the previous regime because Saddam wanted to keep Iraq isolated from the rest of the world so he could have total control over Iraqis. Computers were available before the war, but the prices were prohibitive. Now, thanks to our ability to access the internet, we are able to contact our relatives abroad and to talk to them without fearing the eavesdropping of the 'mukhabarat' (the previous regime's secret intelligence service)."

I am sure that the terrorists are using the Internet for their own nefarious purposes also but over all it is doing far more good than bad. I strongly suggest anyone reading this do some investigating of any subject that interest them.

The easiest way to start is to type a subject into Google. You may be surprised at what you will find. As you get better at it make your questions a bit more sophisticated. But don’t be afraid to try it and learn something. Knowledge is power.
Just last evening son George restored a very useful function that somehow I had lost. I write this in MS Word and it permitted me to view the word document, as it will appear as a web page. If pictures are not correctly placed or my word wrap is wrong I can fix it as I go. I looked at this weeks page and found the word wrap on my introductory section was not right. It was way off. I was able to fix that easily.
He traced its path to a temporary file and then made a shortcut to it and put it on my desktop and gave it a unique icon. Now all I need do is click on the icon and there it is. There is always a way if you know how!!

My Dad would have loved the computer. As I have said the entire Palmerton Press could have been laid out, edited, and formatted all here without type setting or typecasting replete with all the laborious mistakes of the old system. No hot metal is needed at all!! Modern offset printing was very new and very expensive for a small shop. Unlike the letterpress it starts with a normal readable copy

and is reversed on the offset roller then that kisses the paper.

My brother Dick, the manager, later purchased an Addressograph-Multigraph [below]

This                            vs.                           This

This was our first and only venture into offset printing. It was fast but it was small and needed no molten type. Everything was printed from a thin metal aluminum plate that had the image burned on it from a photographic offset negative. This required sending everything to Reading, Pa. to be processed. That slowed down the whole process. Large printers had their own photographic equipment.

Hey the old way was how it had to be done. For us the Multigraph was state of the art. Ha! More and more I appreciate what they did and how they did it. Golly, when printing ink that would dry on paper but not on the presses came out I, as the chief press washer, did indeed consider this state of the art!! It made my life a lot easier. Hey the printing business in those days was dirty and it wasn’t easy.

Poor Ben Franklin had to hand set everything and after he was done he had to re- distribute the used type back into the case, so it had been even worse.

We could at least dump last week’s newspaper type into the “Hell box” and re-melt it for later use.

I remember “Shorty” Peters at the Monotype cleaning the keyboard’s operating rods. Much on that machine needed lubrication but not the keyboard. It operated on compressed air and punched a paper tape that fed the caster much like a player piano. The caster looked like an invention of Rube Goldburg with push rods, springs, and multiple moving parts. It was noisy as Hell.

If the keyboard push rods got oily or sticky, wrong letters would be struck, even if you typed the correct keys. Typos were bad enough. Occasionally Shorty would stop in his typing the newspaper copy and run a galley proof to be sure that all was well. If someone accidentally pied the type, God forbid there was real consternation. The entire paper tape had to be run through the caster again. Oh it happened.
When the machine was wrong, there was Hell to pay and it happened all too often. Hey no spell check existed then!!! Correcting a stuck key was laborious. Changing each wrong piece of type with the correct one up in the composing room after they were all cast. On a tight line it could be real trouble. Obviously an H is wider than an i.
Unlike a Linotype that cast a whole line at a time the Monotype cast each letter individually. It was a real chore particularly if it happened to be a vowel. Oh the Linotype operator had his problems also. He had to correct it at his keyboard and a tight line might require extensive re-working of a sentence or even a paragraph. Nothing was without risk or problems  Oi Vey!!

We went to the Post Office and I dropped off last week’s epistle at Dr. Nicholson’s office. Then we stopped in on our reporter friends at the Times News for a quick visit and to leave some stuff for Sharon.

This afternoon when I went up to the “tent” with my tea I saw a woolly worm inching along. By the time I got the camera and returned he had crawled into the bushes and curled up in a ball.

He was darn big stretched out and mighty black on the one end. What ever that means?

 I just got this from Dave Engler. I certainly want to include it here.

Subject: Old Timers
     Just a little news in which you might be interested - whether or not you feel it worthy of inclusion in your "newspaper" is totally up to you.  On Saturday afternoon, September 25, 2004, fifteen (15) members of SSPHS class of 1939 accompanied by sixteen (16) guests, spouses, other family members, and friends, held their 65th year reunion at the Inn at Moselem Springs, PA.  This was the last official meeting of the group after an uninterrupted run of 20 consecutive, annual, luncheon affairs, begun after 5-year interval reunions, in 1985.  Camaraderie and friendship, along with a lot of nostalgia, were the order of the day.  Sixty-seven (67) deceased members, of an original class of 133 graduates, were remembered and honored by those present.  At last count, six (6) classmates have been "lost" and sixty (60) active, viable addressees, still exist.  Not bad for a bunch of octogenarians from the old, "polluted" home town.
     Attendees came from Indiana, Connecticut, (Pottstown, Upper Darby, Willow Grove, Philadelphia, Mt. Bethel, Allentown, Bethlehem, Wyomissing, Lititz, and Emmaus, PA) and three (3) from Palmerton itself.
     Bob - feel free to share this with your friends at the Times-News if you desire.  They might want to include it in their news of the area.  Picture (annotated) is below:
-    Dave Engler, Phila., PA

Since today was washday it was spaghetti night. As usual it was a meal served in God’s restaurant. Once again it was superb. I saved half of mine for a later lunch as has become my custom. We had cantaloupe with a dollop of ice cream and I had a cup of coffee for our dessert.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 7:31 AM 70 deg at LVIA and 64.5 in the bus stop
 It is a crummy day today with lots of rain. However I took my 8 O’clock coffee and went up to the tent. The cover did a good job and I was able to sit there comfortably. I turned up my hearing aids and listened to the rain pattering on the roof. It was a nice feeling but it is not such a joy and one must really be hard up to look for something like that on a day like this.

<8:32 AM> We went for our regular walk while it wasn’t raining too hard. I wore my yellow slicker and Queen used her umbrella. The only problem with that is for me with the hood up my hearing aid whistles like Hell. Geez!! At least we got our morning exercise. The weather forecast is not conducive to outdoor stuff today.

<10:37 AM> It is pouring pitchforks and hammer handles right now. We were going to go to Lehighton but thought the better of it with all this stuff!

I got this from Bob Green.

Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box.

He asked his wife to send him dirt; fertilizer and some grass seeds so he can have the sweet aroma and feel the grass grow beneath his feet.
If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of a scissors.
Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don’t stop and think about the little things that we take for granted.
Say a prayer for our soldiers who give (and give up) so unselfishly for us.
This says a lot!

This afternoon we had to get the car out and go to the Post Office and IGA. We got some bananas, rolls, and frozen green beans. As I put the car away about 3PM I saw that we had about 2 inches of rain in the emptied rain gauge since yesterday. We still have a flash flood watch on here. We don’t need more rain.
Tonight for supper we had the rest of the “Landis” chip steaks that we started last week. They were delicious.

Now at 9:44 PM, it is still raining lightly and we have 3 inches of rain in the rain gauge.

George and Kathy stopped by this evening. They will be going back to Delaware tomorrow. Apparently the boys called them and said they had tremendous rains down there with water in the basement as well as tornadoes in Delaware proper. It must have been quite a storm. In addition he said a lot of his new seed was washed out here after our local deluge.

I got an e mail reply to a note by me from an ex Palmertonian, Helen [Truesdale] Tucker as follows,

To: Bob Elliston
Subject:  I am doing well now, Bob.  I don't know if you knew it or not - I lost my husband in March.  I am planning now on going back to Arizona for the winter - leaving MN late October.  I lost my address book that had Kelton's phone number in it.  But when I searched white pages online, I found no matches for California or for Oregon where they were talking about moving.  Do you still send them your weekly epistles?  I'll try an email and see what results I get from that.
We are sorry to hear of her loss. I asked her the whereabouts of Dick Kelton and his wife Dawn. They are on the mailing list but I have not heard from them in a long time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 7:14 AM 64 degrees at LVIA and 61.7 in the bus stop
The blood glucose is 120 and the weight 197.It looks as though it is going to clear today. I am sure we will be going for our walk soon.
This morning I looked outside and saw Tom Grey’s tree service truck out side. They were here to remove the two trees belonging to the Historical Society. So I got out my camera and got some pictures of the entire process.

Tom at work

Taking down the trees
  Ready to take out the stumps  
   All done!!       
We went for our walk and as we were almost back I just missed the one tree falling. I did catch the other one going down though.
I spoke to Tom, the boss, about taking down the dead maple tree in front of our place. I got a price and it sounded reasonable. It includes taking down the tree, grinding the stump, and planting a new tree of proper growing habits. I gave him the go ahead. I had already secured Roger Danielson’s permission to do so. However I don’t know when this will take place. They did a first class job at the Societies property.

1:28 PM George and Kathy have just left for Delaware. I understand they got over 5 inches of rain and some water in their basement in Delaware.

I see in tonight’s news that Martha Stewart is going to the slammer in Alderson, WV. We drove by there on the way home on one of our trips to WV. It is nice country if you like mountains and hills but it didn’t seem like a bad town to me but I doubt if she sees much of it.

Tonight for supper Queen had a small piece of chicken breast, a small baked potato, green beans, tomatoes, and cottage cheese. I had coffee and the last raisin brownie. I had been hording it.


Thursday, September 30, 2004 7:19 AM 61 deg at LVIA and 59.1 in the bus stop
This morning the blood glucose was 127 and the weight 195.It looks cloudy today. I shall check for myself in a moment, as soon as the 8 o’clock coffee is ready.
It was raining a bit when I took the garbage to the alley. Then I sat in the tent with my coffee and just enjoyed watching the rest of the world get ready to go to work. We plan to go for our walk now.

I received an invitation from George Ashman to attend a ceremony at the library tonight to publicize the arrival of the microfilms of the past issues of the real genuine “Palmerton Press.” Queen and I plan to attend.

Since Queen won’t permit me to go dressed in blue jeans she was scurrying around trying to find something as she called “decent” to wear. She found a pair of nice black Hager slacks that she had me try on. Lo and behold,when I put them on buttoned and zipped them they fell to my knees. I guess we don’t go out very often. However that is a good sign.

I had to go down to the bank and also do some shopping. When I got home I discovered that my house key would not open the door. I had to find the emergency key and use it. When I looked closely at the old one it is no wonder it is so badly worn. So I went down to Shea’s and had Mrs. Shea cut for me two new ones. They work fine.

Yes, we do shop at Walmart. Yes, we do shop at K Mart. But I always try to patronize Shea’s when ever I can. The big reason we shop other places is the tremendous variety that they offer that no small store can match.

Shea’s have saved my butt many a time and we wish them the very best. They seem to have found a nitch that no large store can fill. The people at the big stores try to be helpful but there is no one knowledgeable that can give straight answers. I can ask anyone at Shea’s to help me to find a left-handed “doohickey” with a right hand thread and someone will know what I am talking about and are willing to sell me just one!! This is irreplaceable. They are a community treasure!!!
Tonight Queen had a meat pie each, string beans, fresh tomatoes and cottage cheese. We had coffee and cookies for dessert. Soon, we shall be leaving for the library. More later!!

We are down and back. It was a very nice. Joel Kern was there to take some pictures and  to interview us. Judge Webb, George Ashman, Queen [Ruth Elliston], and Bill Bechtoldt were there for the presentation. Dick Webb wanted to remember his family’s long time friendship with the Elliston’s. Including his late classmate our son, Jack Elliston. Queen and I were pleased. Bill Bechtoldt thought that Horse Head charities wanted to help enhance and make accessible a piece of this town’s history.

We couldn’t see the result because the reader was not working. I suppose Thomas Edison was unavailable to check it out. It is pretty darn old. Somehow I suspect I might be able to do something with them with my scanner. That needs more checking.

Friday, October 01, 2004 7:19 AM 46 deg at LVIA and 49.8 in east patio
This morning my glucose level was 117 and the weight 195. It looks like a nice day today. The sun is not up yet but as soon as the coffee is ready Butternut and I shall check it out.

We went for our walk this morning. After breakfast Queen called Dr. Koleki’s office and secured new appointments for us after the flood there. I called Dr. Nicholson’s office about flu shots and was told to call back about October 12. The vaccine had not been released as yet.

Then we went food shopping. A trip to Aldi, Giant, Country Harvest, and IGA finished the trip. We got back just before noon.

 I just got a shock. George Ashman finally changed his carrier to Prolog and now has a"" address of ""

Well today’s post will be short. I want to send it to the proofreader and post it as soon as possible.

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

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