Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Friday, January 14, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS An Angora buck nibbles evergreen branches at the Holly Road Fiber Farm, Barnesville.

According to Wikipedia, the Angora goat originated in Asia Minor, in what is now modern Turkey, and has always been prized for its soft and lustrous fiber.

The goats are finely-built and fairly small, the does weigh well under 100 pounds and the bucks up to 120. Both male and female have horns. The horns on bucks, shown here, can be quite large and impressive, curving up and away from the head and face. The does have nearly straight horns that curve back slightly.

Saturday, January 8, 2011
Brandon Taylor at Happy Valley Amusement Park just outside Beijing is a nice moderate level theme park - it doesn't have the tallest or fastest or best roller coasters, but they are still scream-worthy.

Summers back home meant three things: a week at the beach with my family; tennis in the morning and afternoon with friends; and at least one trip to a major amusement park. Summers in China have consisted of: week-long excursions to the country's interior; morning and afternoon trips to the Great Wall; and other thrilling experiences, but no thrill rides.

Friday, January 7, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Taste-testers line up to sample varieties of boilo during the Seventh Annual Tamaqua Boilo Competition held at the Tamaqua Elks and sponsored by Dave and Judy Johns and family.

Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned cook-off.

But a cook-off can mean different things to different people. On the prairies of Texas, it's all about chili.

But in the mountains of Pennsylvania, boilo cook-offs reign supreme, especially in the anthracite coal regions where boilo isn't merely a drink, but a legendary health tonic.

It's so revered that boilo cook-offs and boilo judging are time-honored traditions.

Friday, January 7, 2011
 Coal region boilo can be enjoyed year-round, but is especially popular in wintertime, and is often given as a gift. DONALD R. SERFASS/ TIMES NEWS

A basic, easy and almost fool-proof recipe for boilo utilizes a crockpot.

This recipe is presented courtesy of coalregion.com, where Jay Schutawie, webmaster, told the TIMES NEWS that it produces a more consistent result than what might accomplished on a stove top.

It's easier than cooking on the stove and much less likely to overcook or scorch.

Friday, December 31, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Annamarie and Shawn Bauer of Kunkletown pose around their majestic 15' Christmas tree with their triplets, Sarah, Jill and Amy.

Christmas is the time of celebrating the birth of Jesus. It is a time of rejoicing of the coming of the Son of God. Over the years, Christians have found many ways to observe Christmas and families develop traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.

Shawn and Annamarie Bauer of Kunkletown follow a Christmas tradition passed on from Shawn's parents. It is in the form of a towering Christmas tree. It fills their living room with all its splendor.

Friday, December 24, 2010
Santa's workshop

ike a busy elf, Joan Lech buzzes around the workshop nestled in the cellar of her Franklin Township bi-level home.

There, on Robrucel Drive, Joan designs and creates fanciful gifts that lift the spirits of grateful friends and relatives. Her dazzling creations brighten the lives of all who revel in the magic of nature and the colors of Christmas.

Joan isn't a typical elf. She doesn't actually take direction from Santa.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nick Hawkey was sitting in the Palmerton Hotel 17 years ago with some members of the Marine Corps League - retired former Marines. The subject of sponsoring a dinner for residents of Palmerton and the surrounding area came up.

The hotel was willing and it became reality. Eventually, the event outgrew the hotel and moved to the Aquashicola Firehouse. It is held every December.

Hawkey is there not only in the role of Santa but as coordinator for the project, which became a fundraiser for Dream Come True. The Dream Kids come to entertain.

Friday, December 17, 2010
Sophia Natividad was all dressed up in a pretty pink dress to talk to Santa.

Toys for Tots and Dream Come True have been the most important events for Nick Hawkey in his role as Santa Claus, or rather as his helper who talks to people and takes their Christmas orders to be forwarded to the North Pole.

He's now in his 40th year spent this way and he looks forward to many more.

A wall in his house is filled with plaques honoring him for his work with those two organizations as well as Lions, the Marine Corps League and his efforts to have Route 248 renamed the POW-MIA Highway.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Joyce Steigerwalt of Tamaqua needs a kidney transplant.

A kidney transplant places a healthy kidney into a person with kidney failure. It is one of the most common transplant operations in the United States. One donated kidney is needed to replace the work previously done by two kidneys.

A person needs a kidney transplant when she has end-stage kidney disease which occurs when the kidneys no longer remove wastes and excess fluids, and manage (such as sodium and potassium) and minerals. They also no longer make hormones that keep bones strong and blood healthy.

Friday, December 10, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Joyce Steigerwalt of Tamaqua shows how she prepares to hook herself up to peritoneal dialysis in her home. She will have to continue doing this for the rest of her life if she does not receive a kidney transplant.

'Tis the season for making holiday wish lists.

There's only one item on Joyce Steigerwalt's list. All she wants for Christmas is a new kidney.

Santa might have a hard time filling her stocking with that one.

So instead, she's praying to God for one. Her deep abiding faith in the Lord is what gets her through each and every day.

Joyce is one of over 85,000 people in the United States who is waiting for a kidney transplant. Only about 25,000 are done a year.

Joyce came so close to being one of those lucky ones earlier this year.