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Columns

Saturday, June 30, 2012

For some Americans, the real meaning of Independence Day has been lost amid the barbecues, hot dogs, hamburgers and funnel cakes.

They will go to fireworks celebrations in their communities. There may be bands playing patriotic music and everyone will sing the national anthem as they have done all of their lives.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

UFO enthusiasts had an opportunity to make history last night as the National Geographic Channel offered those who wished to participate the chance to tweet a 140 character message to the hash tag #ChasingUFOs. All the messages were collected and they will be consolidated into a single transmission that is going to be beamed into space toward a region from which an unusual signal was received 35 years ago.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

When it came to deciding on a vacation destination a century ago, Mauch Chunk was an easy choice for thousands of tourists.

And when you added a holiday like Independence Day to that choice, the selection became a no-brainer for vacationers. Whether it was to bask in the old world charm of the town, or riding the Switchback Railroad or trolley to Flagstaff to soak up the breathtaking views, tourists flocked to the town.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah, the ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah, the ants go marching eight by eight and ruined a perfectly good Funny Cake, and they all go marching down to the ground, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

I'm highly upset. Not that I had ants, but because they stole my Funny Cake from me!

My Aunt Arlene use to make Funny Cakes and then my mom started to make them. Hmmm, good. This Pennsylvania Dutch treat marries a combination of all my favorites ... pie crust, white cake and gooey chocolate.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

"I'm sick of hearing about this Sandusky thing," said a man at the supermarket.

Nobody can blame him. It's been plastered in the news since last year. But don't expect it to go away with a guilty verdict. This case has only just begun. There will be civil suits brought against Penn State, Dottie Sandusky and others.

More criminal charges likely will come, too. And books will be written.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nearly two decades ago, I left my heart by the ocean.

Every year, for one glorious week, I return to Ocean City, Md., searching for it, but instead I find that my love for the sea has grown even stronger and that it is harder and harder to say goodbye.

The grains of sand that adorn the shoreline remind me of the dozens of memories I've created at the place I would love to one day call home.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

JIM:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sometimes, the Internet offers inspirational stories. The seventy-five year old bodybuilding grandma is one example.

Baltimore resident Ernestine Shepherd claims she was never athletic, didn't start exercising until she was almost 60 and didn't start body building exercises until she was 71.

Almost three years later, she won her first bodybuilding contest. Check out her amazing sculptured body on the Internet.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Geri King is an avid reader of this column, who today became a contributor.

The Coaldale resident believes that by exercising your mind, you have a better chance of having a healthy mind.

So she sent along a quiz in which 30 compound words and two-word phrases were assembled. The words and phrases all have something in common their first halves start with the letter F, and their second halves starts with the letter P (as in Fun Puzzle).

Crossword-style clues have been provided for each one, some straightforward and others downright tricky.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Marriage festivities will always be a time for the tricky young folks to play their pranks," one local newspaperman said a century ago. "But it is a time when they display pretty clearly whether they were brought up in a real home or in a beer garden."

Those harsh words were in an opinion published in the Tamaqua Courier, in which the writer criticized two wedding customs of the day – throwing rice at newlyweds and the "shivaree," a kind of hazing ritual that targeted newlyweds on their wedding night.