Sunday, November 20, 2016

You Are Splendid...Lehighton's 2016 National Honor Society Induction Ceremony

On Thursday, November 17th, the Daniel I. Farren Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted its newest members.

Congratulations to these new members:  Aubrey Blasiak, Caine Carpenter, Piper DeMatte, Jennifer Dobrowski, Julia Frey, Patrick Lawler, Matthew Pettit-Clair, Maura Phelan, Brandon Schnell, Ty Sharrow, Nolan Wentz, Grant Wetzel, and Mary Wilhelm.

They join Julia Banning, Tia Brownmiller, Tyler Dietz, Andrew Ebbert, Matthew Eckhart, Bethany Evans, Kaitlin Higgins, Elise Johnston (President), Brianna Keiser, McKEnna Knappenberger, and Morgan Yurasits.

Many members are former students of mine and some of them asked if I would deliver a few words at the ceremony.



Here are those remarks:


Aced my calculus test – Check!

Homecoming weekend – danced like a freak!- Check!

Induction into the National Honor Society – Check!

Congratulations!...You are now 'honorable.'

You now have more pieces of your Puzzle.

Things are now 'Over.'  Time to get onto what's 'Next'…

~~~~
 What I have to say to you tonight might not make sense…


This won't be so much of a good speech, as it will be more like a bad poem...
~~~

You have entered into a society of scholars…honor…


Honor is a heavy responsibility, though it does not have to be difficult…



You are vibrant.  You are splendid. 


And yet you will be forgotten.  And you will forget. 
  
One by one, your brain will filter and prioritize these memories.

One by one, days like these come together and form the jigsaw puzzle of your life…

These random days, these random pieces…

Once strewn about and separate, are now coming together to form the image of what your life is….

Today is one of those days when all your puzzle pieces seem to fit.

It's been a long time since you were in my 5th grade class.  Can you remember those days?  You've assembled many new pieces since then.

And like those days have faded to you, so too will the memory of this day.

Oddly, it seems like just as you begin to lose the memory of your individual pieces…is the time when your life begins to make sense. 

Here's some good advice, simple advice: 'Over' & 'Next.'

Learn to know when things are over.  Learn to know when to deal with what comes next. 
  
When one part of your life is over, it’s over.  Time to move on to the next thing. 

Among my best hopes for you, is for you to have a place to rest somewhere between what’s ‘Over’ and what’s ‘Next’. 
  
Maybe you could string up a hammock, and lay there in the sweet in-between time of what's ‘Over’ and what comes ‘Next.’

However, "Life is very long."  (T.S. Eliot)  

It is too long to simply lie in a hammock. 

After all, you have a puzzle to finish!

You want to move, you want to connect things. 

You have dreams to fulfill. 

You are made of positive light...it's time to shine!


And yet…

Sometimes in life, we do some pretty foolish things, things we hope will be forgotten, will be forgiven…

Sometimes running is useless, sometimes fighting is foolish, sometimes we spend too much time thinking of ways not to lose…

All can be forgotten.  All can be forgiven.

One by one, your dreams will fade to twilight,
One by one …flowers fade in your garden,
One by one…the leaves fall from the trees,

And so too, one by one, the hair of your head will fall, it will fade, and it will turn gray...

One by one, your sweetest days will slip behind you…

One by one, stars will brighten, and stars will fade…

And even though this day, this day of ceremony,

...will most likely fade and be forgotten,

It remains part of the whole, the ‘Over’ and ‘Next’…

There is much to come, in this day, in future days…

There is a premonition that lurks inside you like a match of hidden potential,

A match that can spark, it can flame, it can ignite, it can engulf, it can consume…

In all of it, lays life’s goal: to shine, to be incandescent.



Can we possibly ask for anything more?

~~~~

You the new inductees and current members of our National Honor Society chapter certainly possess nothing less…

May your hands always be busy, may your heart always be joyful,

May you always see the truth…

May you live to see the virtue of your own actions…

May you never seek the virtue of your own actions.

May you make dust and not eat it...

May you treat others, not as you wish to be treated, but rather how they need to be treated...

May you sparkle, may you pulse, may you shine...

May you be like the match and burn on, and burn on, burn on...

May your potential shine down like the stars up in the sky…
  
And no matter how bumpy your road becomes...

...No matter how twisty your life’s roads turn, …

Learn to rest between what is ‘Over’ and what is ‘Next’…

You may forget a lot of things, but always remember...

How honorable you were this day…

~~~~

You are vibrant…

You are splendid…

Now Go Forth! (Whitman)...Go Forth and Shine!...

...thank you.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sources:
~Arthur Sze's poem "The Ginkgo Light"
~Bob Dylan's "Forever Young"
~Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg's "One by One"



Monday, July 4, 2016

Answers from Trivia Night at the Sesquicentennial

Now that you've had a day to think about the questions, I now freely give you the answers.
Here is Lehighton's first chief of police, William Swartz.
He was killed by a rowdy and drunk youth of twenty-
two at the Carbon House that sat at the corner of
North and First Sts.  He left eight children when he was
shot in 1917.

~QUESTIONS POST: Here is the link back to the questions.  You could have a tab open with each post to go back and forth to.

~BACKGROUND STORY: From the twenty-five stop "Trolley Tour" to accompany the commemorative 150th book sold at the event.  If you missed out, the Lehighton Memorial Library will continue to sell these.

1. "C": Mayor Thomas Mase
2. D: Friday
3. D: 6 Parks.  The consensus was that the "Upper and Lower" parks count as one.  Baer Memorial, Skyline, and The Grove were definitely thought of as parks.  However, the new Rails-to-Trails Bike path trail-head was overlooked.  Also, included here is "Sixth and Coal Sts" athletic field.
4. A: $5 for a moving permit.
5. A: Basketball
6. B: Dr. Marvin Snyder
7. C: The Excelsior Marines was not a Lehighton Organization.  The Germania Saegerbund was located next to the "Academy" Building on southern First St.  The Loyal Order of Buffalo (L.O.O.B), Lehighton Herd #17 started in April of 1913 with Lehighton Press's David McCormick's father William, the Civil War Veteran, was the first chair. Applicants for membership had to "be of the Caucasian race and not less than eighteen years of age and more than fifty years of age."  Admission fee for the herd was $10 for 18 to 40 year olds and $15 for 41 to 50 year olds.  Fifty cents a month paid in a advance were the yearly dues.  Though they stated they were not an "insurance organization," payments were made to sick and disabled "brothers."  "No sick or death benefits shall be paid for illness or death resulting from immoral or intemperate habits of any Brother."  Along with the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) there were a total of nine secret societies in Lehighton as of 1890.
8. C: Field Hockey
9. B: the Lions
10. C: Miss Carbon County Pageant
11. A: Packerton Yard (Some thought this choice was wrong because it was technically out of the Borough limits.  The Baer Silk Mill at it's peak employed about 400 around 1915.  Scotty's Fashion was third and Blue Ridge Pressure Castings had a Lehighton payroll of less than 100.
12. A: ice cream
Jess Ripkey, Livi Frendt, Izzy Baka, and Sam Banning work the registration table from the LAHS Student Council.
13. C: Lehighton Hardware started in 1925.  Zimmerman's Dairy, though a long-time family farm in the Mahoning area, did not establish itself in Lehighton until after Gerstaluer's Dairy in the 1950s.  Gerstlauer's took over Small and Koch at the present day location of Zimmmerman's around 1934.  Blue Ridge Pressure Castings started in a warehouse on the Fair Grounds in the 1940s before moving to its present location after a fire.  Lehighton Hardware started by Mahlon Kistler Sr and William F. Hamilton started on First St and moved to Second St after a 1963 fire.
14. D: Count Zinzendorf himself oversaw the selection of the site at the mouth of the Mahoning Creek for his group of hard-working Moravian missionaries.
15. D: Kleintop's Diner was located at the bottom of Ninth St where the "fotune teller" single-wide is today.  One of the Kleintop boys was the recently deceased Paul Kleintop that ran Normal Square Inn in the 1990s and early 2000s before retiring to become a Carbon County Community Transit bus driver. His specialty and my favorite: Vienna Onion Roast.  Melted in one's mouth!

Parting gift Question: Lehighton has about 155 fire hydrants in the Borough limits.
The Brights Department Store credit card.  Brights put
Lehighton's Cohen Department Store out of business
partly by providing free bus transportation to its Lansford
Store in the 1950s.  Later, Brights bought out Cohen's less
than a year after starting this program.  Brights also
provided a free Mother's Day luncheon for all its female
shoppers.  As for how they procured the finest items?
Lehighton purchasing agents were often flown to
Newark New Jersey for buyers meetings sometimes
up to two to three times a week, employing local pilots
like Mr. Walp from South Street to fly out of Lehighton's
own airstrip off Ninth St at the Fairgrounds.

Round #2:
16. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, is still a leader in the manufacture of specialty parts for the automotive industry.  Knepper Airplane Parts building is now a hospital auxiliary building, the Hersh Iron Foundry closed many years ago while Blue Mountain Machine has recently become a leading producer of mobility chairs.
17. A: An escalator and an elevator.  Bright's had style.  Once it moved to the Carbon Plaza Mall in 1976 (it occupied the Mahoning Valley Cinema down to and including Big Lots) it also opened their own "Hess Brother's"-styled restaurant.  They also provided their own store credit card like the large stores like Macy's and JC Penny's.
18. C: W. Melvin "Mush" Moyer and Earl Haupt formed "Moyer and Haupt" in 1945.  They sold their dealership to the Bennett group in 1986.  Mush Moyer formed a orchestra known as the Lehightonians from 1928 to 1942.  They started their American Motors dealership in 1957.
19. D. Serfas Motors (used just one final 's') was located on Iron St at the alley behind the former Classic Theater/Times News Building.  The fire occurred in May of 1918.  The current building was built sometime after this date and was once occupied by Moyer and Haupt before they moved to First St.
20. B: Dave Warner, son of Dave "Pap" Warner from North Eighth Street was a three year letter winner at Syracuse and tried out for the Eagles before getting cut.
21. D: Colonial Court reviled Asa Packer's mansion as the grandest of Carbon County homes.  It burned to the ground in 1916 and was catty-corner from the Grove.
22. A: 1940.
23. B: about 6,500.
24. C: about 40 degrees north latitude.
25. D: Lewis Dunbar.  It was later taken over by Mel Gilham who moved it from Fourth St to the bypass in the 1980s.  It continues today under the ownership of Craig and Jennifer Gilham, Mel's son.  Lewis enlisted in Ohio and that is where he married his wife who was from that state.  By 1930, his mother-in-law moved here to Lehighton and lived with Lewis and his wife.
26. C: Moravians first came here to live in 1746.  Therefore our birth as a town goes to 1866, but our founding was in 1746.
These placards were used in the southern section of town
during Lehighton's 1903 outbreak.  This one was from 1916
Lehighton Board of Health.
27. D: Baer went home to New Jersey to visit his parents and siblings.  It wasn't apparent until he reached home that their unknown malady they were starting with was smallpox.  This was part of a larger outbreak in many major northeastern cities at that time.
28. A: Orville Shoemaker was from Lehighton, made a go of this business first in Allentown before resettling back here and making Lehighton "Grandma's Chips" permanent home, north and opposite of the Legion Home, next to the home of James and Shirley Wentz.
29. C: Semanoff's grocery store was on the corner of Fourth and Iron Sts, most recently well-known as Marshall's Meat Market.  This iconic Lehighton building is the last of many that once had a porch overhang roof over the sidewalks in front.  This is an ideal bus stop location for kids bused to the western end of town today.
30. A: Denny Semmel.  Made it to the NCAA championship round in the national wrestling tournament for West Point.  He is currently a fifth grade math teacher at Lehighton.


Parting Gift Question: The first bridge between Weissport and Lehighton was built in 1804.

SPORTS:
1. Jim Thorpe - Lehighton was led by point guard Randy Rabenold while his father Randolph Rabenold was Jim Thorpe's assistant coach.  Lehighton went on to win twenty-one games in a row to earn an undefeated season in the inaugural Centennial League of 1976.
2. Thomas Kresge, brother to Steve and Greg who themselves also fine Lehighton players.  Son of Russell and Donna Kresge.
3. Betty Mullen Brey - Her son is the current Notre Dame Men's Basketball coach, their winningest coach in their history.
4. Hughie Jennings played here before going off on a Hall of Fame career as a major league player and coach.  He was from Pittston and a lawyer by trade.
This picture of an unidentified wreck at the Lehighton Fair certainly matches what is known of the two fatalities from September 6, 1958.  It was said that there was only a light wooden picket fence.  According to newspaper accounts these wrecks occurred about an hour apart.  However, according to the death certificates of Shirley George of Trachsville and of Dennis Mertz of Bankway, the time of injury was listed for both at 3:30 PM.  Mertz died of "severe shock" and internal injuries ("mutilated left leg and thigh") while the George died of a "fractured neck" along with internal injuries ("compound fracture of the left hip").   This picture confirms the lore of what I heard in my youth, inevitably came up anytime an adult was nearby whenever we were climbing the trees near the chicken house near the horse stables.  Thanks to Roy Mertz who helped with these details.

5. Stock-car racing.  There were two fatalities in two separate accidents.  Eleven year old Dennis Mertz of Mahoing Valley was in a tree and seventeen year old Shirley George of Palmerton was pinned to a tree on September 6, 1958 at the Lehighton Fair.

FAMOUS:
1. Franz Kline.  His works are in most every major museum in the world.  He was known to come home, especially for fair week, in his grey Ferrari.  He came to Lehighton with his mother, after his father killed himself over a sour real estate deal on the family hotel prorperty he first sold and then tried to reclaim.  Franz was a handsome young man who excelled in sports too.  He was known to punt the football bare-footed.
2. The Lehighton Fair was first located in the vicinity of First Ward school at Fourth and Alum Sts in the 1870s to the 1890s.
3. Boston.  Moxie executives wanted to 'modernize' the recipe to the resistance of the Lehighton bottlers.  The coporation closed the Lehighton bottler as a result of this disagreement.
4.  Fred Horlacher ran a bottling works at First and Bridge Sts.  After he moved to Allentown, Horlacher Beer had a large and loyal customer base in the Northeast, especially after son George took it over.
5. Dennis "Denny" Seiwell is a brother to Darryl Seiwell of the locally popular "Becky and the Beasts."


BOROUGH:
1. Three: Gnaden Hutten, Lehighton, and the Ss Peter and Paul Cemetery at the end of North Fourth St.
2. There were fourteen people employed in cigar making in Lehighton in 1880.  Two of which were women who were "tobacco strippers" the one facet of the industry reserved for women.  Painters was the next group with eleven, followed by five ministers, four doctors and three barbers.
3. Constitution Avenue is the short block in front of the Municipal Building.
4. Armando Gallasso.
5. Lonnie Armbruster.


CORNER "STORES":
1. "Ev-Ko" was formed from Mel Everett and Paul Koch's last names.  Their partnership dissolved after a fire with Mel keeping the furniture line of the business and Koch continuing with the appliance line of their business on Coal St, eventually expanding to Palmerton and Bowmanstown.
2. Hammel's Store.  Prior to becoming a merchant, Hammel worked at the New Jersey Zinc and later in the Packerton Shops while working part-time as a vaudeville magician.  A fact that attests to his carrying of small magic tricks.
3. Owned and operated both the Lehighton Hotel (at the corner of Main Lane and First St) and the Hotel Carbon (at the corner of North and First Sts).  The Mandours owned the Hotel Lehighton until it was demolished to become the Lehighton Elderly Hi-Rise.
This picture was taken just south of the intersection of Fourth and Iron Sts.  Though he ran bread for George A. Strohl's Lehighton Bakery, Cal with his currently hip 'man-purse' shows his comical side with his outward turned foot, on a truck bearing his name.  His hard work eventually manifested itself in "Haas' Store" at Fifth and Coal Sts, Lehighton's longest running family run corner grocery store.
4. Cal Haas opened the store in the early 1930s.  His son Robert took it over in the 1960s until 1998.  TV-13 used a picture of Cal on his George Strohl Bakery Truck in their promotional introduction to the parade.  Cal ran at least three bakery routes, selling five cent loaves of bread, to earn enough money to start his own store.  He was my grandfather and Robert was my uncle.
5. Henry Bretney.  Son of the Dine Bank Cashier and related to the Bretney Photography studio, Henry Bretney's character lives on in the many who knew him.  He was a close friend of Franz Kline.  A painting Kline gave Bretney can be viewed at the Lehighton Memorial Library.

CURRENT EVENTS:
1.  Mary Strohl, who along with her sister Karen Reichard, the borough police secretary paired up to compete in Trivia Night.  Both Mary and her son Steven were "150 Club" members.
2. Lehighton Area Pool Pals, who was headed up by Citizen of the Century and Shade Tree Committee member Mark Hoffman among many others.
3. Patrick Mriss, brother of assistant chief Michael Mriss.
4. Henry Long, who's Perseverance Jazz Band played immediately following Trivia Night.
5. Frank Kuhn.  A former Laneco Store Manager, Frank fulfilled a dream of one day owning his own store.

FINAL JEOPARDY:
The final contestants were given a choice between an open-ended question and a question that was more "cut and dry."  They unanimously decided to go the shorter route.  It was "Name the streets and alleys that were named after people.  The team of Mriss and Young had the most at eight of the twelve.

They had Dunbar Alley ,Grant Alley, Hamilton St, Sgt Stanely Hoffman Blvd, Blakslee Blvd, Lentz Ave, Stedman Ave, and Graver St.  They missed Ebbert's Park, Willard St, Lentz Alley, and Penn Ave.

The open-ended response was going to involve judging from the audience.  Contestants would have been given ninety seconds to explain why they loved their hometown.

BATTLE QUESTIONS:
There were sixteen "Battle Questions" developed for this game that went unused.  Some of them are presented here for information purposes.

#1. Borough Council: Had a contestant felt knowledgeable of the seven current council member names, they could have selected this question and chosen another competitor to 'battle' against.  The person who gives the last correct answer wins.  Given that there are seven names, the person initiating this question should have chosen to go first.  They then should have said the most familiar of the names, such as "Grant Hunsicker."  The other person would then given another valid name such as Sesquicentennial Committer person "Helen Torok."  This would continue back and forth until all the names were used or someone couldn't give another name.  Remaining members are: Scott Rehrig, Lehighton firefighter Joe Flickinger, Lisa Perry, Darryl Arner, and Jared McEvoy.

#2. "Women": There have only ever been four women to serve on Borough Council.  Two of them are currently serving.  The others were Melissa Ebbert Wagner and longtime councilperson and mayor's wife Bessie Bauchspies.

#3. "Homes": This one was tricky.  Working backward, name the current to the previous owners of the Funeral Home at Third and Alum Sts: Corey and Rebecca Schaeffer, Ken Phifer (1988-1998), William Garrett (1947-1988), Wendell Swartz (1944 to 1947), and John S. Lentz.  All but Lentz used the home as a funeral home.  Lentz was yardmaster at the Packerton Shops.

#4. "Papers": Name all the newspapers that once operated in Lehighton.  I wont give you the answer here, but there were at least five of them.

#5. "Streets": Name all the streets and alleys named after people.  This question was used in lieu of the open-ended essay question discussed earlier.

#6. "Streets": Name the streets and alleys named after trees.  All but two are alleys.  However the two that are named 'streets' are actually nothing more than the width of an alley: Birch Alley, Cedar St, Cherry Alley, Cypress St,  Maple Alley, Peach Alley, and Poplar alley.

#7. "Chiefs": Name the last twelve (and most likely only) police chiefs of Lehighton.  Our first known police chief,  William Swartz was also our only patrolman lost in the line of duty in 1917.  He left eight children.    Next came Mark Blank who would later become a U.S. Marshall in Scranton.  Then Harry Yenser who died of a heart-attack at the wheel of his squad car in front of the Municipal Building in 1947.  Then it was Lee Walsh, Bill Kunkle (contestant and public works supervisor Kris Kunkle's father), Lionel Cote,  Edward Hutto (who killed himself outside his wife's church because of his concern with her apparent close relationship with its minister), Frederick Scott, Dennis Wentz, Matt Bender, Neil Ebbert and currently Brian Biechy.

#8. "Streets": This one was discussed at the beginning of the 'question' post.  If I could have done it again, I would have chosen this question as the Final Jeopardy questions: Name the streets and alleys that are named after industrial elements: Carbon Alley, Carbon St, Ochre St, Coal St, Iron St, and Alum St.

The remaining categories will simply be listed here in an effort to save them for another Trivia Night in the future.

#9. Name the original first four numbered streets in Lehighton (they obviously weren't always just numbers).
#10. Sports: Name the members of the 1975 to 1977 (two-years) of Lehighton boys basketball team.  The 1976 team won the Centennial League and the 1977 matched that but also won the District 11 title.
#11. Name Lehighton's Furniture Stores, including appliances.
#12. Clothiers and Department Stores
#13. Family named restaurants.
#14. Gas Stations: Must give the owners name, not simply "Exxon."
#15. Pharmacy: Again must give the owners name.
#16. Garment/Silk Mills.

What's Next for Lehighton History Here?  For the remainder of this year, this blog will feature mainly Lehighton stories.  There will be one more post on trivia questions as well as at least one post focusing on Lehighton's mayors and police chiefs.

Thanks for visiting!






Questions from Trivia Night at the Sesquicentennial

The Top Five Teams sweat out the last "Jeopardy" question: Name all the streets and alleys named after people?  From the Left: Deb and Kris Kunkle, Steve "Hogan" Ebbert, Mike Mriss and Jimmy Young, and Justin Markell and Scott Nothstein.  Off frame to the left was Nancy Shaffer.  Contestants could compete alone or in pairs.  The Lehighton Fire Department Brothers of the Brush were well represented.  Scorekeeper was Nate Rabenold.  (A full list of contestants are listed at the end of this post.)  Trivia Night photos are courtesy of Lisa Hopstock photography.  Click here for her website.
Lehighton was the world's gateway to the industrial revolution.  As one step from the coal transport hub of Mauch Chunk, many saw the town's industrial potential.

Parryville had Carbon Iron Works.  The Beaver Meadow Railroad was the first rail-line in Carbon County, originating in 1830.  Not to mention the paint pigments mined in the Bowmanstown area in the 1800s.  The Lehigh Valley Railroad sourced through town in 1855 and Lehighton's Packerton Yard became its main repair facility.

For other Lehighton posts:
~CLICK HERE FOR THE ANSWERS TO THE TRIVIA IN THIS POST

A testament to the area's industrial past comes from this 1851 article
about a powder mill in Mahoning Township owned by the Dormetzger
brothers.
~Lehighton Sesquicentennial: The Pioneers and the Promise

~Lehighton Sesquicentennial Trivia Night Introduction and sample questions

So it is little wonder with America's industrial apotheosis can be directly connected to the coal and iron that came through town.  Evidence of the promise of our town is shown in the naming of five of our streets: Carbon Street, Ochre Street, Coal Street, Iron Street, and Alum Street.

On the second last night of the eight-day Sesquicentennial Celebration this week, eighteen teams squared off in a trivia contest that answered questions about our town and our proud history.

Over 100 questions were developed, however only about forty-five were used.  This will be the first of two posts written on this trivia.  Following here will be the questions as posed Friday night.  However the answers to them will appear in the next post, giving the reader a chance to test themselves.

Besides the committee members like Autumn Abelovsky and Duane Dellecker, the Trivia Night would not have been possible without the volunteer help of many individuals: Rosanne Klotz Hoats, Nate Rabenold, Lori Stubits, Rachel Quinn, Kim Rabenold, Kathy Rhoads Long, Angela Tobash, Olivia Frendt, Izabella Baka, Samantha Banning, Jess Ripkey, Dane Frantz, Nate Petit-Clair, Nathan Kemmerer, Jake Petit-Clair, Alyssa Stubits and Kennedy Quinn.
Hosting of the event at the Amphiteahter
were Ronald Rabenold and Kathy Rhoads Long.
Courtesy Hopstock Photo.

The focus of the second post will be to cover the information contained within the questions that were not used.  All 100 questions (with answers) as well as competitor names will be sealed into the time-capsule bench in front of borough hall to be opened in 2066.  I'll be ninety-nine, and judging from the current state of my mind, I am certain all this material will be fairly absent from my mind by then.

1. Who is the current mayor of Lehighton?
A. Scott Rehrig, B. Grant Hunsicker, C. Thomas Mase, D. Cap Bauchspies

2. What day is garbage day in Lehighton?  A. Tuesday, B. Wednesday, C. Thursday, D. Friday

3. How many parks does Lehighton have?
A. 3, B. 4, C. 5, D. 6 - (This question was thrown out due to a discrepancy on what a 'park' is...I didn't count "Sixth and Coal" but I can see how many disagreed.)

4. How much does a moving permit cost in Lehighton?  A. $5, B. $10, C. $15, D. $25

5. What Lehighton sports team won the 1977 and 1987 District 11 Title?
A. Basketball, B. football, C. Cross Country, D. wrestling

6. Nominated for “Citizen of the Century,” this man was one of the last doctors to still make house calls:
A. Dr. Owen Snyder, B. Dr. Marvin Snyder, C. Dr. Alvin Reber, D. Dr. R. Scholl

7. Which one of the following is NOT an actual benevolent Lehighton organization?
A. International Order of Odd Fellows, B. Loyal Order of Buffalo,
C. The Excelsior Marines, D.  Germania Saengerbund ("Zanger-bund")

8. What Lehighton sports team is the only one to win a state championship?
A. Cross Country, B. Tennis, C. Field Hockey, D. Wrestling
(Though the gymanstic team led by teachers Lewis Ginder and Mildred Obert won regionally at least four years in a row which included a trip to Pittsburgh and competed in a national invitational in 1935.  Mildred was the granddaughter of town meat-packer Joe Obert and Lewis Ginder was a respected teacher, football coach and along with his wife, ran the popular "Camp Chickawaukee" summer program.)
Obert married George Fritzinger of Mauch Chunk in 1936.
He graduated from Bucknell with an engineering degree
and worked for PP & L.  Obert attended LHS and Sargent
School of Physical Education in Cambridge Mass as well
as doctoral studies at Columbia Universtiy.  She was well
traveled to places in Europe as well as our west coast.

9. In the 1950s, this civic group started a fundraising campaign to fund the Lehighton Memorial Library:
A. the Masons, B. the Elks, C. the Lions, D. Loyal Order of Buffalo  (Remember the gumball machines with Ford gum?  That was the original fundraiser...one of these gumball machines is still in use at the Lehighton Boulevard Drive-in.)

10. The Lehighton Lions also sponsored what annual event starting back as far back as 1949.  It continued at the Lehighton Fair into the 1980s.
A. Bicycle races, B. Demolition derby, C. Miss Carbon County pageant, D. pie-eating contest

11. Which of these Lehighton businesses was known to employ the most people:
A. The Packerton Yard, B. Scotty’s Fashions, C. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, D. Baer Silk Mill

12. Which of the following could you purchase at Kirkendall’s on South Second Street?
A. ice cream, B. bicycles, C. shoe repair, D. tombstones

13. Which of these current Lehighton businesses has operated the longest:
A. Zimmerman’s Dairy, B. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, C. Lehighton Hardware, D. Dunbar Bottling (Hint: This question may also be open for discussion as the Zimmerman's Dairy first started in Mahoning Valley, those years were not included in this logic, so this question too should have been thrown out.  Of "B," "C," and "D," the correct business was started in 1925.)

14. Though this is the 150th year of its incorporation as a borough, Lehighton was actually founded prior to the Revolutionary War, over 250 years ago.  Who founded this first settlement?
A. Col. Jacob Weiss, B. Ben Franklin, C. George Whitfield of Nazareth, D. Moravian Missionaries

15. Who made the tastiest chicken in all of Lehighton, known as “chicken in the rough?”
A. Your mother, B. the Boulevard, C. Getz’s, D. Kleintops

This ended round one and we had to say goodbye to our lowest scoring teams.  Before they left the were given the chance at a “parting gift” question:
Approximately, how many fire hydrants does the borough of Lehighton have?
A. Less than 50, B. 50-100, C. 100-150, D. More than 150 (Contestants did not get choices to pick from.  The winner of a Sesquicentennial mug was Tanner Eckman.)

The top 15 teams advanced to the next round.


Round Two:
16. Which Lehighton business once produced the iconic and highly sought after 'Hurst' shifter handle:
A. Hersh Iron Foundry (down on the 'flats') B. Knepper Airplane Manufacturer (Iron St)
C. Blue Mountain Machine(originally started at Graver’s Pool) D. Blue Ridge Pressure Castings

17. What store in downtown Lehighton was the first and only business  in Carbon County to have both an elevator and escalator:
A. Brights’ Dept Store, B. Cohen’s, C. Greenberger’s, D. G.C. Murphy

18. This auto dealer was first on Iron St, then moved to First St, and lastly on Route 443:
A. Hahn & Son, B. Kovatch, C. Moyer and Haupt, D. Serfas Motors

19. This early auto dealer suffered a devastating fire in May of 1918:
A. Hahn & Son, B. Otto Kropf Studebaker, C. Moyer and Haupt, D. Serfas Motors

20. This Lehighton man had a stand-out football and basketball career at Lehighton, became the quarterback at Syracuse University and is presently offensive coordinator at Michigan State University.
A. Pete Barclay, B. Dave Warner, C. Tom Kresge, D. John Armbruster
Not only did T. A. Snyder buy the Michigan State building, but other
buildings from the Pan-Am Expostiion in Buffalo New York were brought
here to create a resort area of the Flgstaff Mountain in an effort to build
ridership on his trolley line.  Click here for more on Snyder.

21. Theodore A. Snyder bought a mansion at the Pan American Exposition and had it reassembled near the Grove and was considered our grandest home until it burned.  The home was called:
A. Windmere, B. Builtmore, C. Mahoning Court, D. Colonial Court

22. Which of the following year was Lehighton said to have reached its peak population:
A. 1940, B. 1960, C. 1970, D. None of these

23. What was Lehighton’s peak population:
A. 5,500, B. over 6,500, C. Over 7,000, D. Over 8,000

24. Lehighton lies on this line of north latitude of the equator:
A. About 25, B. 35, C. About 40, D. 55

25. This Lehighton bottler died in 1945.  He was overweight and one inch too short to be enlisted in WWI.  But after hanging around the recruiting station for over a month, his “mirthful spirit” caught the eye of a major and they took him overseas.  
A. Mahlon Kistler, B. Eugene Baer , C. Eugene Small, D. Lewis Dunbar

(Lewis Dunbar was a wagon driver a confections business in the 1920s and up to the 1930s.  He wanted to enlist in WWI, but was an inch short (5'3") and was about 100 pounds overweight.  He didn't take 'no' for an answer.  Living in Ohio and married to a local girl there at that time, he hung around the recruiting station for a month until finally a major couldn't resist his “mirth” and humor.  He attended a 1935 national Legionaries' convention and made the papers as the nations heaviest veteran at 285 pounds, with a 65 inch waist (at 63 tall!).  Naturally plagued with illness including diabetes, he died of a coronary in 1945 at the age of 56.)
From the 1931 LHS yearbook.

26. What was the year of Lehighton’s first founding by the Moravians?
A. 1707, B. 1737 (year of Thomas Penn’s Walking Purchase), C. 1746, D. 1755 
Joseph Semanoff was a veteran of WWII in
the 101st Airborne and was Carbon's
state representative to the General Assemply.
 His son Gene served in the Air Force and
Gene's son Peter is a Captain
 in the Army today.  Gene's daughter
Major Alison serves as an Army doctor.
Another son of Joe Semanoff, Greg, did
two tours in Vietnam with the combat
engineers.  Greg's son, Mike Semanoff, was
in the 82nd Airborne in the 1990s.
27. This Lehighton business man was said to have accidentally brought smallpox into the community in 1903 causing a general quarantine of southern Lehighton:
A. James Blakslee, B. Moses Heilman, C. Theodore Snyder, D. Eugene Baer

28. Who made Lehighton’s famous “Grandma’s Potato Chips” on Bridge St:
A. Orville Shoemaker, B. Gordon Bennett, C. George Freeby, D. Mel Gilham

29. Prior to representing Carbon County as our state representative in the 1970s, what was the profession of Lehighton’s Joseph Semanoff?
A. mechanic, B. teacher, C. grocery store owner, D. hotel owner

30. Who was a state qualifier in wrestling and went onto West Point and finished as a NCAA National Runner-up in college.  He is currently a teacher in Lehighton: 
A. Denny Semmel, B. Rick Long, C. Charlie Bachert, D. Dave Warner

After this question, only the top five teams remained to play a round of "Jeopardy."  All five of these teams scored at least twenty points, the highest advancing team had twenty-five points.  The topics were: "Sports," "Famous," "Borough," "Corner 'Stores'," and "Current Events."  
Even though it was a "Jeopardy" board, Alyssa and Kennedy worked as "Vanna White's" removing category markers during game play.  Courtesy of Hopstock Photo.

There were five questions in each category numbered in graduated difficulty from one to five.  These points were added to previously earned points.  Not all the questions were selected, but all of them are listed here.  Questions that were not used in competition will be marked with an '*.'
Guided by Mildred Obert and Lewis Ginder, the Lehighton Gymnastics teams of the early 1930s went unbeaten in
regional competition and even went onto compete nationally.

SPORTS:
*#1. The 1976 Boys Basketball team went undefeated in the inaugural Centennial League, winning 21 games before losing in Districts.  However, they lost their season-opener to whom?     

*#2. What Lehighton athlete sits in the Top 70 scorers of all time in Pennsylvania Basketball history with 2,234 points, this was in a 1980s career without the 3-point line.  (#63 on the list is Wilt Chamberlain!)

#3. This Olympic athlete from Weissport held the world-record in the butterfly and trained at Graver’s Swimming pool.
    
#4. This man once played for Lehighton’s semi-pro baseball teams in the late 1890s for $5 a game eventually made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  (He was a lawyer by trade from Pittston and was known to have entered to words into our lexicon: "Atta-boy" when someone does a good thing as well as "Ee-yah!"  He was known as an incessant picker of grass from his first base coaching post.  Made the Hall for his managing, coaching, and playing.)
A family of fair-goers in the early 1960s.
The photo, from the Morning Call archives
of Ralph Kreamer lists "Mr and Mrs
Thomas German with daughter
Brenda Dianne.
      
#5. What sport came to an end in the borough with the two fatalities in two separate incidents at the Carbon Fair?
   

Franz Kline had a little fun drawing this sketch in the 1931 LHS yearbook describing a day in November when he and Harold Rabenold took a day off for "nature study."  Using some Pennsylvania Dutch humor of "I vonder vare dot rabbit vent to."
FAMOUS:
#1. Arguably the most famous person to come out of Lehighton, he was best known for his abstract art, he painted the Legion mural.
In addition to Dunbar Bottling, there
was also Ripkey's "Carbon Bottling
Works" in the alley
of South Ninth between Iron and
Mahoning.
Ripkey carried Horlacher's that
got it start with father and son
Fred and George at Bridge
and First Sts Lehighton before
moving to Allentown.
#2. Lehighton’s Fair was well-known state-wide.  Where was it in the 1870s-1890s?
 #3. Lehighton Moxie outsold Coca-cola in the early 1900s.  In the 1930s and 1940s Lehighton was one of two places this soda was produced.  Name the other city.        
*#4. This regionally famous beer got its start at Lehighton’s First and Bridge Streets in the late 1800s/early 1900s with father and son Fred and George.
#5. Most widely known for playing drums with Paul McCartney’s “Wings,” this Lehighton native also played for Janis Joplin, James Brown, Art Garfunkel, and Billy Joel.

In what only can be described as
a bizarre piece of news, William
Hammel was threatened by a lynch
mob for his refusal to buy a war
bond even though the drive was
over.  It is unknown if his decision
was based on economics or some
other objection.
    
BOROUGH:
#1. How many cemeteries are there in the borough?
#2. In 1880, which occupation was claimed by the most Lehighton residents?   Doctors, barbers, cigar makers, ministers, or painters?
#3. Name the shortest street in town.
#4. Who is the current supervisor of the Lehighton Water Authority?
#5. Who is the current supervisor of the Power Dept?
    
CORNER "STORES" (not just stores):
*#1. Koch and Everett partnered in furniture and appliances at the site of the former Trainer’s Grocery Store at Third and Cypress.  What was their business called?
#2. The steep hill of Coal St is named after this business.
     (As a bonus questions, give William Hammel's occupation before he started his store?)
#3. The Mandour family (Joe, Ed, George) ran what two well-known Lehighton businesses on two different downtown corners. 
*#4. Larry Markley’s Nationwide Insurance agency is the current site of a corner grocery store, Lehighton’s longest family run grocery store, into 1998.
#5. Who ran an Atlantic gas station on the corner of 7th and Mahoning from the 1930s to the 1980s?



CURRENT EVENTS:
#1. Who is Lehighton’s tax collector?
#2. Name the organization that saved the Lehighton Baer Memorial Pool?
#3. Who is Lehighton’s Fire Chief?
#4. Who is the longtime bugler for the UVO, cemetery care-taker, and well-known for his Perseverance jazz band? (His band played in the amphitheater following Trivia Night.)
Son of a silk mill owner in New Jersey,
Baer's son Carlos married Florence Teets.
It was Carlos who arranged for the lands of
southwest Lehighton to be made into a
recreational area.  Carlos and Florence were
uncle and aunt to current town resident
Carlos Teets.
*#5. Who is the current owner of Mallard Markets?
  
The Contestants:  (Occupations were listed for purposes of the historical records to be entered into the Time Capusle.)
#1 - Danny Stubits – Retired
#3 Olivia Frendt and Jess Ripkey - Students
#5 Steve Ebbert - THIRD PLACE FINISHER
#6 Tanner Eckman
#15 Suzy and Lyle Cordes – Teacher and child/student (daughter of Lehighton Electronics Austin Blew)
#20 – James Young/Michael Mriss – HVAC Technician/OPS Mgr & Asst Fire Chief - FIRST PLACE FINISHERS
#22 Susan Cook/Jordan Cook – Wilkes College & LAHS Student
#24 – Justin E Markell & Scott Nothstein – Senior 911 Dispatcher/Equipment operator - TOP FIVE FINISHER
#27 – Mary Strohl & Karen Reichard (Snyder sisters) – Lehighton Tax collector and Borough police secretary
#29 – Nathan Kemmerer & Jake Pettit-Clair -  LAHS Students (They marked “Hoodlums” as their occupation!)
#32 – Nancy L. Shaffer – retired - TOP FIVE FINISHER
#44 – Sam Banning and Isabella Baka – Students LAHS
#69 – Duane and Barb Dellecker
#46 – Nick and Logan Yaro – Students
#50 – Nicole Beckett – Borough Manager
#55- Jean Everett – Retired bank teller
#57 – Kris&Deb Kunkle/Superintendent of Public Works - SECOND PLACE FINISHERS
#60 Dane Frantz and Matt Pettit-Clair – Students

~~~~
DON'T FORGET: 
Answers will appear in the next blog post in a few days!

~~~~
All of the Top 5 contestants can be seen in this photo: Nancy Shaffer, Deb and Kris Kunkle, Steve Ebbert, Michael and Jim Young, and Justin Markell and Scott Nothstein.  Mriss & Young finished first followed by the Kunkles and Ebbert.


This picture was used by TV-13 for their parade coverage intro and is my favorite picture of my grandfather who founded Haas' Store in the early 1930s. 
Cal Haas' son Robert at the meat counter in the middle 1970s.  Bobboy took over the store in the 1960s and ran it until 1998.
Add caption


Monday, June 27, 2016

Lehighton Sesquicentennial Trivia Night

Trying to enjoy all the intriguing events of this week is tough to do.  The Trolley Tour on Saturday, the Cemetery Tour last night and the parade and fireworks coming up Saturday are among the many highlights, not to mention the talent show, various contests, and of course the variety of musical performances each night.



One of my favorite Lehighton pictures:
Chief of Police (most likely Harry Yenser) and
then Mayor William J Zahn chat in our business district.
Zahn served as Chief Burgess from 1934 to 1941.  Chief Yenser
modernized the department by adding new technology necessary to combat
the "gangster" 1930s: a teletype machine, a .45 cal machine gun, and
bulletproof glass in the windshield of the patrol car.  Most work
was still done on foot and even horseback into the 1930s.
The department also owned a motorcycle as early as 1929.

I have a two fold reason for sharing this post to those interested in the Trivia Night this Friday, July 1st from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Amphitheater: To give a sampling of some of the questions and also to give a rundown of how the contest will work.

No matter what your level of Lehighton knowledge is, you will be rewarded by attending this event.  Not only will you learn tidbits you never knew existed, but by competing you will achieve a shred of immortality: All competitor's names will be placed in the Time Capsule at week's end along with all the questions and answers.

This was the Lehighton Airport dedication day, on July 20 and 21, 1929 (photographer is facing the homes on Ninth Street).  Pictured here is Mahlon Kistler Sr (4th from left).  It is unclear if Jensen is in this picture.  Other dignitaries attending the event were Governor Fisher and National Labor Secretary Davis.  Jensen was born in Kansas but also
lived in Harrisburg in the 1930s.  One article stated that he was a former resident of our town.
So let's start with a few sample questions that didn't make the cut.

Sample #1: Martin Jensen was the second person in the world to fly from California to where?  (Answers will appear at the end of this article.  Jensen took his $10,000 of prize money from the Dole fruit company to invest it in Lehighton's airfield.  At least 15 other crews attempted this feat, most of those ended fatally.)

Now that could be hard for some folks?  Well first of all, this one is so tough I threw it out.  Also, the first three rounds are all multiple choice.  So is it: A. Jamaica, B. Spain, C. Iwo Jima, D. Hawaii?

An attempt was made to make the questions begin with some relative ease.  Given freely here are some hints at a few of them: "What day does this certain weekly event take place in Lehighton?"  "What is the fee the town charges for someone applying for a ______ permit?" etc.

Sample question #2: Although this is Lehighton's 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a borough, what group originally founded here many years before?  

#3: Give the year of Lehighton's founding by this group.  (Again this is multiple choice in the first three rounds.)

#4: Name one thing you could buy at Karl Shaeffer's store on First St?
Karl "Smotz" Schaeffer ran a novelty
store in downtown Lehighton for years,
here in World War II.

There will be questions about the lives of some of the people nominated for "Citizen of the Century."  #5: He was among the last doctors to still make house calls?  #6: Who are the current owners of the Eugene Baer Silk Mill on Bridge St? etc, etc.

Here's How it will Work:
You can go it alone or pair up with a partner to become a dynamic duo.

Let's say we have 50 teams competing.  You will have a 50% chance of advancing based on how well you do on the first fifteen questions of Round One.  At the end of Round One, only the top 25 teams will advance.

There are lucky-guess tie-breaker questions to help sort out ties if needed.  Here's one: Name (guess) the year Ben Franklin came to Weissport to build a fort.  Or how about guess the number of fire hydrants there are in town.  Person's getting it on the nose will advance.  If no one answers it correctly, the closest without going over will advance. 

Easy right?

Here's an interesting question that was eliminated because it was too hard: Name the Lehighton Chief of Police who died of natural causes at the wheel of his patrol car in 1947?  (See sample answer #6 below).
Mark Blank was Chief of Police prior to
Harry Yenser in the 1930s.  He later became a
US Marshall in Scranton.  In 1929 he was
seriously wounded in a head-on collision on
a motorcycle on the "Mahoning Trail."
The force did have a motorcycle in its livery
at the time.

Round Two and another fifteen questions (they are getting harder now) will have the top fifteen teams advancing to Round Three.  After Round Three, we will have just the top five teams left.

Now it gets interesting.  Multiple choice is gone.  Contestants will then enter the "Jeopardy"-style of play, except for one twist: when in control of the board, they can choose "Battle Questions."

Here's an example.  Suppose this were "State Trivia."  A Battle question could be "Name all the states beginning with the letter "N."  Each question has the number of correct answers available.  In this case there are 8 correct answers.  

The player in control of the board may choose one of these Battle Questions as their turn.  They also get the option of answering first or second.  The player/team that gives the last correct answer gets 5 points.  The losing competitor loses 5 points.  So if you believe the competitor you are playing against knows all their states, you can have them go first, allowing you to give the last correct answer and winning.

Here are some of the Battle Question categories: "Streets (7)," "Streets (11)," "Players (10+)", "Restaurants (10+)," "Service Stations (10+)," and etc. 

There are parameters, such as "Name the streets, including alleys, named after people."  There are eleven of them.  Make sense?  Good.  "Players (10+)" asks contestants to name the players of the 1977 District 11 championship basketball team.  There are more than ten correct names that could be given.  You wont have to know them all, you just need to know one more than the person you choose to "battle" with.

As for the "Jeopardy" side of the game, the categories are: "Sports," "Famous," "Borough," "Corner Stores," and "Current Events."

Questions could be something like: Where could you buy ice cream on South Second Street?  Who was the Olympic Swimmer who trained at Graver's Pool?  Who is our current Chief of Police? etc etc.
Here is one tough looking dude.  He was William Swartz
and he was Lehighton's police chief in 1917.  He tried to
calm down a rowdy 22-year old punk in a Lehighton hotel
and was shot and killed.  The only Lehighton officer killed
in the line of duty.  He left 8 children.

Then of course there is the "Final Jeopardy" question where the five finalists will wager an amount of their score before they answer.  I can tell you the topic now: "Lehighton."

These questions were designed to challenge yes, to inform, certainly.  But my ultimate hope is for all of us present to be enriched by our shared knowledge and love of this great town of ours.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Enjoy!

PS: After the event is over, a complete post of all the questions and answers will be posted, accompanied of course with current and historical pictures.

************
Sample Answers:
#1: D. Hawaii
#2: The Moravians
#3: 1746
#4: Novelties, trophies, fireworks, small games of chance supplies
#5: Dr. Marvin Snyder
#6: Woody and Robin Frey
Only three of these questions are actually in the game, however they are seen here in a modified form.  The other three questions will not appear at all.