Book 2 Volume 1

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

    First and foremost these pages make 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.
          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. She is my proofreader and censor and the one that attempts to keep me on the straight and narrow! Ha!  Her love, support, and help, have been indispensable. She surely has a way of cheering me up when I get too discouraged.  
    I am particularly interested in reaching not only current Palmertonians, but also former Palmerton residents, who may still find the old town a source of comfort and the remembrances of happy days.
        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 and insert the pictures, but they keep the press running!  In addition, we are trying to put older web pages on line as seen in our index page.
    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” rant will appear. This is run as an autocracy not a democracy. Hey there is always the delete key. 
At least with the addition of pictures these pages don’t have to stand on their literary merits alone.
    I also thank God for my mentors. They all suffer a now 78-year-old fool well. I wish to express my thanks to everyone.      
    I 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.    
    There is one thing I very much want to stress. It is a lot of the excellent input from you readers that permits me to put this thing out and on line every week. I very much appreciate the articles and pictures my readers send me. Keep it up.
     With the gracious co-operation of Prolog we now have an up and running web page. This will eventually permit a lot more to be accomplished. My thanks to everyone.
    Son George is web master. He and I can be contacted through the main Index page.
  You may note that this is the first volume of the second year of these epistles therefore, at my web master 's behest, we are naming it Book 2, volume 1

Saturday, November 20, 2004 8:10 AM 45 deg at Slatington E.S. and 46.4 in the bus stop
    This is a new week here and this will be a busy one. This issue will contain the Thanksgiving holiday so there will be a lot of hustle and busy work.
    It is hard to believe that this is the beginning of my second year of these things.This morning the blood glucose was 123 and my weight 195. Son George, my web master got last weeks epistle on line last Friday night in spite of  what I discovered as many errors in it's construction. I learned a lesson from that. Now as I write this thing I check it as I go for validity as a workable HTML site. Last week's had thirteen errors on it that I didn't know how to correct. George had to fix them before he placed it on line. I will now be more careful. I said I have a steep learning curve.
    Queen is busy in the kitchen making Tommy's birthday pie. She has to make it now because time will be too short near his actual birthday. The poor old man will be 60 years old!  and still alive.Golly!!

 I took this picture just after Queen put it in the oven.Queen hasn't made a pumpkin pie since last year for the same occasion. I doubt if anyone realizes how much work  goes into something like that. She says that over the years she loses some of her confidence. Hey I know that well! If I didn't do this every day in a week's time I would be lost trying to remember the various operations!!

This evening Queen had  hamburgers, baked potatoes, green beans, tomato, cottage cheese, and I had ice cream for dessert.  We both had fresh coffee.

Then this evening in response to an e-mail from George regarding this week's festivities Queen spoke to Belva as well as Mary co-ordinating the menu for Thanksgiving day. They all sounded well.

This evening Mr. Davies arrived to receive his birthday pie. He did manage to take it across the street. Ha!!


Sunday,November 21,2004 44.3 at Slatington E.S and  45.1 in the bus stop
This morning my blood glucose is 133 and my weight 195. It looks as though it rained sometime overnight. In fact, yesterday was a bust weather wise. At least it wasn't snow! I suspect we will be having some of those typical gray, dull, November days from now on.

We are back from out walk. The walk was just great even if the weather was not sunny and bright. However it seemed to be brightening as we neared home.

On our walk we met the Clarence  Heydts

 I got pictures of the new concrete side walk and entryway that was just installed on Friday. I suspect the driveway proper will be blacktopped.

Now at 8:33 AM  I am listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with their Thanksgiving program. "Come ye thankful people come" It is wonderful!!

This morning we had to get Queen's prescription and I had to mail a letter at the Post Office. I took these pictures from the parking lot of the Post Office.


    From  Rite-Aide we went home. As I was putting the car away I spotted the neighbors on 3rd Street putting up Thanksgiving decorations. I had to get some shots of that, also.


    Golly they were nice folks  Sue and Bill  Beers!!


Monday, November 22, 2004 7:03 AM 44 deg at Slatington E.S. and 42.6 in the bus stop
Today is Queen's washday. It isn't too cold this morning. Queen and I went for our full walk. It was good to be able to talk with one another.

Earlier I was out sitting next to the bus stop with my coffee and camera and I spotted the birds busy at the feeders. The light was poor but it was fun trying to get their pictures.

The Chickadee

The purple finch

This morning while Queen was busy with the wash I went to the Post Office. I stopped at Dr. Nicholson's office to deliver the "papers" and  then down to Shea's. I got a pair of wicks for the decorative oil lamp on the dining room table.
Then I stopped at IGA for celery Queen asked me to get for the stuffing thisThursday. As I  was entering I met Jean Fritzinger. She asked about Queen and the rest of us. She will be going to Massachusetts for the holidays to visit her daughter and son in-law, Todd Chambers, and their twin children.

 After that it was a quick stop at the T.N. for a very short visit. Pattie mentioned that these pages now open like a shot. That is good!!     
 Linda, Sharon, and Joel were all very busy. After I got back I installed the new wick and refueled the lamp. It is ready to go now.

 I see in tonight's Time News that our old letter carrier, Charlie George died. Here is his obituary.
Charles B. George
Charles B. George, 84, of Palmerton, died Friday in the Palmerton Hospital. He was the husband of the late Betty J. (Hawk) George, who died in 2003.
He was a postal carrier for the U. S. Postal Service in Palmerton for 30 years, retiring in 1975. Previously, he was a projectionist for the former Palm Theater in Palmerton.
Born in Palmerton, he was a son of the late Charles H. and Hattie (Costenbader) George.
He was a Palmerton Hospital volunteer.
He served on the Palmerton Civil Service Commission for many years and in various leadership roles in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in Palmerton.
An Army veteran of World War II, he served in the European Theater with the 7th Armored Division, rose to the rank of sergeant, and earned a Silver Star.
He was a member of the 7th Armored Division Association, and a former color guard member of Palmerton VFW Post 7134.
He was also a member of Living Hope Lighthouse Church, Palmerton.
Surviving are a son, C. David of and a daughter, Cindy L. Strohl, both of Palmerton; six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
The T. K. Thomas Funeral Home, 145 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004 7:00 AM 41.7 at Slatington E.S. and 43.5 in the bus stop
This morning the blood glucose was 124 and the weight 196. It is a cloudy chilly day this morning. We went for our walk and met several folks. Romaine Biege was on her way back home from her walk. We asked her how far she goes and she replied out Columbia Avenue, over to Lehigh, up to the top of Lehigh on to Hazard Road, then up to the water tanks and back home. Gee whiz, that has to be well over six miles.Golly!!!!!!!!

 Then as we got almost home Ernie Kun and his brother Steve were going hunting. They were preparing their location for deer season. Ernie said since it is bear season they would take the guns along. Ernie is a respected retired federal government agent. Hey to each his own. My idea of fun is not tramping around the brush lugging a heavy gun! What the Hell I would ever do with a 500 pound bear? I haven't a clue!!
<11:52> We just got home from our food shopping trip. The stores were jammed with people but everyone seems to be in a jovial holiday spirit. One couple we kept meeting in both stores with cheerful greetings.

 I have been working at restoring some of the old volumes. I am amazed by several things. For one my weight was considerably higher. But mostly I was appalled by some of the ghastly mistakes that were in the earlier volumes. Some of them will never see the light of day again if I have anything to say about them. However it is apparent to me that I have come a long, long, way since then in proficiency. Oh the spelling is as bad as ever. Without Queen and my web-master it would still be God awful.

Tonight I made the supper. Queen was running the plow upstairs so for supper we had the boneless salmon steaks that were on sale at Giant as well as some "freedom fries", fresh string beans, tomato, cottage cheese, and a small dish of ice cream each. Coffee was also on the bill of fare. It was a good meal.

It was a poor day to take pictures. I took my camera on our shopping trip and saw nothing worth shooting. So, here are a few from the archives.


                    These are some pictures that son George took earlier this fall.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004 6:53 AM 47.5 at Slatington E.S. and 49.6 in the bus stop
 It is a rainy, damp day this morning with more predicted off and on all day. The heaviest rain will take place later this afternoon and evening. Golly a lot of folks will be traveling today. The blood glucose was 131 and the weight 195.

We went for a slightly abbreviated walk this morning. We went up to First Street across and down to 4th Street, across and home. At 2nd and Columbia we saw Gail Nonnemaker walking her dog with no umbrella. It was drizzling lightly but very perceptibly.

  Every year the Wall St Journal prints the following article. It has become a yearly regular feature.Since this is the last published day before the Thanksgiving day, they run it on Wednesday. I love it!

The Desolate Wilderness
November 24, 2004; Page A12

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

And the Fair Land
November 24, 2004; Page A12

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.

For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.

His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.

How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places -- only to find those men as frail as any others.

So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere -- in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

These editorials have appeared annually since 1961.

It is very gratifying to see an old and respected newspaper establish a  tradition such as these. They do a similar one at Christmastide.  

Queen has been cleaning the downstairs in anticipation of guests on Thursday. Later I ran the vacuum here in the family room. It looks better now!


Here are a few more bird pictures.

Thursday, November 25, 2004 7:50 AM 60.4 at Slatington E.S. and 61.3 in the bus stop
 It is very warm outside this morning as I sat  with Butternut. I sat on the lower park bench and while it was dry the sidewalk and yard were very wet.

Golly it came to my attention that there was a banner in a store window down on Delaware Avenue that might be a good thing to photograph. So the old geezer took the car this Thanksgiving morning and got this picture of the front window of Palmerton's premier furniture store, Hagers Furniture!!!

Queen said wasn't he cute?

Golly but I no more than got back and Queen called to me to look at it rain. It certainly did come down in buckets!!


  This past Saturday Queen and I read Pattie's article on Thanksgiving and it is really appropriate. I decided to run it in it's entirety today.

A grateful heart
Even before the last Halloween costume disappears, many start getting ready for "the holidays."
Whether it's called Christmas, Hanukkah or simply "the holidays," for many, it's their favorite time of year.
According to a national survey, Halloween ranks as our second favorite yearly observance. Much to the delight of merchants, Halloween is growing bigger each year.
My favorite holiday is none of the above. It's Thanksgiving.
It's a day that asks nothing of us except a grateful heart.
There are no gifts to buy, no lights to string up. Instead, the day is all about my two favorite subjects ] family and feasting.
My family knows that Thanksgiving is "my" holiday. It's important to me for my family to gather at my house that day. Anyone missing is truly mourned.
While I always proclaim that Thanksgiving is "no bother," any woman who has ever prepared a feast for 15 people knows that's not true. It's a lot of work to cook a turkey almost too big to fit in the oven, plus make all the trimmings. And it sometimes takes the planning of a general to figure out how to seat and sleep everyone. It's the only time of year when I yearn for a bigger house or at least more beds.
But it's also a day where I am in my glory, surrounded by laughing children and cheery family. My only regret is that Thanksgiving lasts but one day.
Each year when we gather round my Thanksgiving table, I ask each one to name something for which they are grateful. That part seldom goes as I envision. The children usually say they are grateful for the family dog, their new Gameboy, or something equally unsentimental. Last year three-year-old Sophie pointed to everything on the table, including the silverware, and said she was grateful for "this and this and this."
I always say I'm grateful for all the family gathered round the table and for the wonderful memories left behind by loved ones no longer with us.
That's my short synopsis of my grateful heart. But if I truly named everyone and everything for which I am grateful, the turkey would turn into a fossil and people would age another year.
I spend so much of my time thinking about all the riches I have to enjoy. First on my list, of course, are my daughters, grandchildren and extended family. Each one is a blessing for which I give daily thanks.
I give thanks, too, for the comfort of friends, for our easy camaraderie, for the laughter they bring, the help they give, and the sweet richness they add to my life.
I give thanks for the cozy home that welcomes me at the end of each day and for all the creature comforts we in America are privileged to enjoy.
I give thanks for the freedom of movement, for the ability to walk anywhere I want and to run, if I want. I give thanks for the ability to climb stairs, even if my knees creak when I do it, and I give thanks for the ability to climb mountains, even if my friend Doris says it's "just a hill, for Pete's Sake."
The point is, years of Life's Lessons have taught me to be thankful for any body part that still functions. When I can swing my purse over my shoulder, I give thanks. How well I know that there are many who can't.
I give thanks for my seven-year-old car that is waiting to whisk me from one adventure to another and which actually gets me there most of the time. And I give thanks for the kindness of strangers who have helped me during the few times when the car balked or quit before I reached my destination.
I give thanks for having a job I love and bosses I respect. And I give thanks that they actually pay me for having this much fun.
When I go to work each morning, I give thanks for the cozy office that seems like home, for the welcoming smell of Joel's coffee, for the cheery greeting of Linda and Sharon. I give thanks for the ability to create words on paper and for the trust and freedom that allows me to do this.
I give thanks for stunning vistas all around me, for a beautiful world that changes as if it were a kaleidoscope. I give thanks for the way the sun shines on the trees and the way majestic mountains rise up around us.
At least several times a week I find myself thinking that it's impossible to comprehend all the beauty in this world. As I drive by golden fields or a sun-drenched barn, I marvel at the beauty of each day.
I give thanks for tiny wonders, for the colorful birds that flit to my bird feeder and dazzle the eye, for stars that light up the sky, for a moon that makes me laugh when I definitely see the face of "the man in the moon."
I give thanks for the cold and darkness of winter that I hate so much because it makes me better appreciate the rebirth each spring.
In much the same manner, I give thanks for the winter times of life, for the times when there is only darkness and I long for light. Happiness is so much sweeter when it comes to blot away any darkness.
I give thanks for all those who have helped shape me and mold me, for a husband who continues to inspire me even though he is gone. I give thanks to all those who have uplifted me with the right words at the right time and to all those who sustain me with their friendship.
I give thanks for blessings big and small.
Most of all, I give thanks to the Creator of it all. 

I agree with Pattie. For me this is the best holiday of them all!! Why? Because of family. This will be an occasion for us all to gather together and enjoy one another's company. Oh the dinner will be a feast but could be the simplest of foods. Hot dogs would suffice. Oh I know it will be an excellent feast but it will simply augment a marvelous occasion and make it even better! The older I get the more I value our wonderful family. I suspect I am not alone among our group with this idea. Others in this family seem to have picked up on this. Pattie's story really hits home on that.
Every day and every year is a gift and I sincerely thank God for that marvelous gift. Those who are no longer among us will not be forgotten. I have said many times before if they were all sitting up on the plate rail watching our family dinner I think they would be happy. Who knows I suspect they will be here this year also. I certainly hope so!!
As we walked we talked of our lives and how they have changed over the years. Some of the things we have been through together since our marriage have been pretty tough. But the good stuff far surpasses the bad. We spoke of how grateful we are for our lives  together.

We also mentioned how some of the things that have happened to us that are now some of the most memorable events. Not the big important things but little things.
I for one recall upon the death of my Aunt Guga while we were at the Campton Funeral Home, Charlie took me aside at the conclusion of the small service and asked me
" Will you be having Thanksgiving dinner with someone?", if not come and have dinner with us. He said to me, "Don't be alone on that day". I replied yes I will be with Ruth, Dick, and the kids on Thanksgiving Day. This was not a hard headed undertaker out to make a buck but a very fine and decent human being. He is missed!!

    Truly a good man. Charlie and Nan Campton
Today will be a very big day here for the Elliston family. We will be gathering here about 4 PM for a big Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of all the kids.

<9:15 PM> The house is quiet now. Everyone just left. Belva and Fritz headed back to Harrisburg, Mary and Jim Hill headed back to Malvern. They brought along Mary's former mother-in-law, Lillian Rau, who is living in a retirement home in that area. George, Kathy, Jason, and Andy went home to Lafayette Avenue at the same time.

Golly but that was a marvelous family get together along with a wonderful meal! Folks started arriving about 3:30 PM and we had a fine time of kidding and good cheer.

Really to be treated to a fully catered and cooked meal in our own home with everyone involved in both the preparation as well as the clean up was a real joy!

  Of course, the start of the festivities was right here.



Everyone had a great time


Then of course we climaxed  the meal with George's pumpkin pies.

Queen and I were sitting here at 10 pm with a very happy heart with having such a loving and caring family. We are truly blessed. Gee whiz I am getting too mushy now!
Tomorrow I go to get my head examined. I have a 9:30 appointment with Dr. Rick Walters to have my eyesight checked. With my ongoing diabetes the retina is one of the first places they can see if the disease has advanced. So far tests have been good.

Friday, November 26, 2004 7:07 AM 25.9 at Slatington E.S. and 28.4 in the bus stop
This morning the blood glucose was 134 and the weight 194. I didn't make out too badly after yesterday's pig out. It was certainly delicious.
It looks like a nice day today. However that 60 degree stuff is over. One of these days the hammer will fall and I know it.
This morning I got one of the best test your skills games that I have seen in a long time. It acts like a jigsaw puzzle. I got it from Bob Green. It is a test of your geography skills. My score was 78% and my average error was 29 miles. I heartily recommend it. It is also fun. It isn't as easy as it looks.

Queen is talking about a walk soon. I was watching the TV early this morning and the Malls are jammed already. Black Friday is here!

Here is a link from the department of defense that one may find interesting.
We got back from our walk and it was good to be out. We missed it yesterday. When I miss a day I feel deprived. We both like to get out. We both spoke of how very much we enjoyed  yesterday's Thanksgiving Day. It was a memorable experience for us. We met Romaine Biege on her walk and we told her of our great good fortune.

After we got back I took the garbage to the alley and got the car out of the garage. Soon I will be heading for the eye doctor.

I am back from the eye doctor and I will be getting new lenses. I am switching from the bi-focals with lines to the line less ones. The technician, Jake, said they too will take some getting used to using. However the guarantee is that if after 30 days and I simply can't get used to them they will switch me back to regular bi-focals at no extra charge. So I decided to go for it. Queen swears by her line less glasses.

I was out looking at the patch this afternoon and took these pictures.


The tree is one of the last still with beautiful leaves that are going fast.


  It is time to conclude this issue for the week.
  Please, Love one another, Mom and Bob [Queen and Bobby] 

.“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all its pupils.”
  Hector Berlioz

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