I imagine if I live here long enough, and pay better attention than I have been for the past quarter century, I might be able to discern why some Summers produce such an abundance of apple, pear, grape, and berries.

Some say that it’s nature’s way to provide for, and prepare the beings in the neighborhood for an impending strong Winter. Others say that the amount of Summer fruit is determined by the previous Spring.

This past Spring was fairly gentle – buds did not have to suffer much freezing; no strong storms blew blooms from the trees.

We’ll keep an eye on what happens this Autumn and Winter. Meanwhile, it’s time to gently tug on the raspberries – if they release easily from the plant, it’s time they were eaten.

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe
Indian Pipe

A recent walk on the cross-country ski trail led through Narnia-like woods abundant with fern, Indian Pipe, fungus; sunlit meadow is thick with clover, grass, and Queen Anne’s Lace.

Not quite three weeks past the solstice, already harbingers present: this morning was an Autumn morning – humidity free, clear, temperatures dipped into the 40’s before dawn. Abundances of apple and pear draw our thoughts toward harvest time.

Dog and I will walk the trail more often now, with focused intent: we’ll start to clear the path of downed branches that when half-buried in snow could deflect and twist a ski or paw, and twigs of thorns that could snag a trouser or ear.

Temperatures in the high eighties are in the immediate forecast; the Clifford picnic is next week.

From here on out, those of us who have been around here for more than a few summers know that hot, sultry, Summer days will become less and less common. Hoodies will be needed in the evenings. The grass will grow less thickly.

It’s the time of season when neighbor Penny inhales the evening, and noting the subtlety of it’s terroir, says: “The air is now changed, yet still familiar…. yes, it tastes like Frontier Days”.


Samuel L. “Roxy” Rothafel


The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, together with Forest City Borough, and the Forest City Area Historical Society invite you to attend the dedication of an official State Marker commemorating the accomplishments of Samuel L. “Roxy” Rothafel on Thursday, July 30th at 6 PM.

The marker will be unveiled at 600 Main Street, Forest City, the location of the Family Theater, opened in 1908 by Roxy, who went on to open many Roxy Theaters, create the Rockettes, and open Radio City Music Hall in 1932.

The Honorary Exhibit, ‘From Forest City to Radio City, a Tribute to Roxy Rothafel’ will be on display all day Thursday and Friday at the Historical Society. There will be a showing of the 1987 Forest City ‘Follies’ and old time movies throughout the day.

A reception at the Historical Society will follow the dedication. For more information on the Old Home Dayz activities, visit our website: www.forestcityareahistoricalsociety.org .




CLIFFORD TOWNSHIP PA – To some people, old farm equipment and machinery often become unusual lawn ornaments. To others, these oddities of times past merely become pieces of unused and dying junk that is left to rust in the rain. But to many of the folks in Clifford Township, old farm machinery has suddenly found a new home and a new use as these wonderful old treasures help recall bits and pieces of the township’s rich history.

With grateful thanks to George (Buster) Spedding of Clifford Township, countless items of antique farm equipment will soon have a permanent home in the township’s new Agricultural Museum. Spedding is a fourth generation farmer in Clifford Township, and his old farm equipment has seen a great deal of use through the years. But rather than just discard what he no longer uses, Spedding has offered to display some of this equipment to develop a local AG Museum to help teach others about this area’s wonderful farming heritage. A number of other farmers throughout the region with old equipment stored in their barns have also offered their unused farm items for display. Not surprisingly, pieces of machinery like this have some great stories to tell, as to how and why and when each was used.

To help share these stories and educate others about the lives of farmers throughout the area, the Clifford Township Historical Society (CTHS) has teamed up with the Clifford Township Volunteer Fire Company to develop a permanent display of some of the township’s farm machinery like Spedding’s and many of the other long-time farmers. The firemen have given the CTHS the old dance hall building on their picnic grounds to house some of this equipment and develop an AG Museum that folks can visit.

“The historical society has literally outgrown its museum space at the community center,” said Alan Fortuner, President of the Clifford Township Fire Company. “Between our two groups, there’s a lot of deep-rooted history and pride in what we all do. So helping the Historical Society by giving them some space for their new AG Museum is a win-win for us both. It’s also a great way to help continue to maintain the township’s local history for future generations.”

“We’re thrilled to have the space at the picnic grounds,” said Sandy Wilmot, President of the CTHS. “But without the support of Adams Cable Service who provided the financial backing to make this project possible, we wouldn’t be where are today with this new museum. Additionally, local volunteers Robert Kilmer and Ray Swingle of Clifford Township provided the bulk of the building materials to move forward with this new project.

“The old dance hall was originally built years ago with a spring floor,” Wilmot explained. “The floor joists are likened to coiled car springs or an old spring mattress – the floor gives with the weight placed upon it, so some of the larger equipment we’ll move into the hall will be easily accommodated. Jerry Lewandowski is one of our many workers, and he has generously agreed to help us with the major reconstruction work to turn the dance hall into our new AG Museum. We’ve also salvaged old barn walls to rebuild the museum doors and make the hall’s interior look more realistic for the displays.”

Throughout the years, the life and labors of a farmer have gone from manual to horse-driven to motorized. Generations ago, it might take an entire day to work a mere half-acre by hand or with a single horse. Today, dozens of acres can be worked with the newer mechanized equipment. Back in the old days, many farmers worked their land until they died. And with many large farming families, everyone had their own chores to do, each often requiring a particular piece of equipment. Much of the equipment that will eventually find its way into the AG Museum will be from the ‘30s and ‘40s, with some items going back to the early 1900s.

We’ll have some larger items like a single-horse plow and cultivator,” continued Wilmot, “and we’ll have smaller tools like a dog-tread mill, a bone grinder, a fanning mill, and corn sheller. Before the reapers and binders, farmers used a grain cradle to manually cut and gather their hay. There will be a wide variety of items that were used by multi-generations.” To help describe these interesting and unique pieces of antique machinery, the CTHS will prepare permanent storyboards to accommodate each item on display.

“There’s not a lot of monetary value in most of this old equipment, and there’s minimal decorative value in most pieces too,” said Wilmot. “But from an educational standpoint, it’s irreplaceable and very valuable. Together with the Clifford Township Fire Company, we’re working together to continue to preserve our township’s rich history.”

On July 23-25, the Clifford Township Volunteer Fire company will host its 67th Annual Fireman’s Picnic, located on Rt. 106 in Clifford Township (evening events will begin at 5:00pm). The CTHS will open the doors to the new AG Museum at that time, displaying the first of its continually growing collection.

The CTHS invites anyone with items and information of local and/or regional area historical significance to contact them at 570-679-2723, or on their newly designed website, www:cliffordtownshiphistoricalsociety.org. Known locally as “the little society that does big things,” the CTHS directors believe that their group’s supporters and volunteers are the backbone of its organization. They are grateful to everyone for their time, talents, and donations. Without each one, the CTHS would not be able to preserve this region’s history.

Written by Union Dale freelance feature writer Karen Bernhardt Toolan for the Clifford Township Historical Society, with thanks to the Susquehanna County Room Tax Grant Fund through the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau.



www.WebMD.com reports:

Honeysuckle is a plant that is sometimes called “woodbine.” The flower, seed, and leaves are used for medicine. Be careful not to confuse honeysuckle with other plants that are also known as woodbine, such as American ivy, gelsemium, and Clematis virginiana.

Honeysuckle is used for digestive disorders including pain and swelling (inflammation) of the small intestine (enteritis) and dysentery; upper respiratory tract infections including colds, influenza, swine flu, and pneumonia; other viral andbacterial infections; swelling of the brain (encephalitis); fever; boils; and sores. Honeysuckle is also used for urinary disorders, headache, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Some people use it to promote sweating, as a laxative, to counteract poisoning, and for birth control.

Honeysuckle is sometimes applied to the skin for inflammation and itching, and to kill germs.

July Full Moon

July Full Moon - Buck Moon
July Full Moon – Buck Moon

Earthsky.org reports:

“The first full moon of July falls on July 2 at 2:20 Universal Time (July 1 at 10:20 p.m. EDT, 9:20 p.m. CDT, 8:20 p.m. MDT pr 7:20 p.m. PDT). Although the full moon occurs at the same instant worldwide, our clocks read differently according to our local time zones.

The second July full moon will fall on July 31 at 10:43 Universal Time (5:43 a.m. CDT in the central U.S.). This second full moon is the Blue Moon.

July 2015 has two full moons. That’s somewhat unusual. Most months only have one. But in cycles of 19 years, or 228 calendar months, seven to eight calendar months will always have two full moons. In other words, there’s a month with two full moons every two to three years. When it happens, the second one is popularly called a Blue Moon.”

Almanac.com continues:

“July is the month of the Full Buck Moon. Bucks begin to grow new antlers at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon, because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.”