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Features

Friday, November 29, 2013
SOUTH WARD FIRE CO ARCHIVES Members of the 1935 marching unit prepare for a six-county fireman's convention at SWFC's mountaintop home. They wore red, white and blue uniforms in honor of the centennial of the town's incorporation.

At the heart of every community is a group of firefighters.

They serve and protect and give of themselves selflessly.

At this time of Thanksgiving, we express appreciation to first responders and give heartfelt thanks to fearless men and women, those brave-hearted volunteers who take a pledge to protect our lives and property.

At one such firehouse, that pledge is marking a special anniversary.

Exactly 100 years ago, high atop a hill in a local neighborhood, an idea of benevolence took hold among 20 men.

Friday, November 22, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Diane Kenesky Derr, Tamaqua, cherishes a collection of 1960s-era magazines and periodicals on the Kennedy family, the assassination and what some call the era of Camelot.

Those baby boomers who remember say it was a special moment in time.

Presidential nominee John F. Kennedy campaigned in Schuylkill County.

In Tamaqua, he was a Democrat visiting a Republican-controlled town.

But political differences didn't deter enthusiastic Tamaquans from turning out to greet the future commander-in-chief. On Oct. 28, 1960, he slowly proceeded along two major highways that bisect the community. He was en route to Hazleton after having offered remarks in Pottsville.

Friday, November 15, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS "I was scared at first."

Ashley D'Amico sensed something was wrong.

"It was painful to slouch over or to stretch my back."

At the time, she was only in grade school.

Finally, in sixth grade, she discovered the reason for her discomfort when a nurse in the Lehighton Area School District diagnosed Ashley with curvature of the spine.

Two years later, Ashley, the daughter of Mike D'Amico and Paula Warner, Lehighton, traveled to Philadelphia where she underwent a serious surgical procedure - posterior spine fusion for scoliosis.

Saturday, November 2, 2013
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The school was donated by Susan Zapagansky and Lana Kuehner. The land is under a 99-year lease.

The Towamensing Township Historical Commission recently acquired the one-room Greenzweig schoolhouse on Church Road., Towamensing Township. On Oct. 13 an open house was held.

Many of the people who attended had been former students. Jim Shaffer, one of those students, brought a framed collection of pictures from 1948. Arlene Kresge, also a former student, attended with Bob Costenbader.

It quickly became a day for storytelling as students recalled their days at the school.

Leonard and Grace Borger came to visit his old schoolhouse.

Friday, November 1, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Jim Hillestad began collecting toy soldiers at the age of 10. This display case in his Toy Soldier Museum in Cresco, houses the first 600 pieces he collected by the time he graduated from high school.

Because he was such a good boy when his mother took him for his eye doctor appointment in Manhattan, young Jim Hillestad was allowed to select any toy he wanted at F.A.O. Schwarz, on Fifth Ave., New York City.

A troop of miniature Britains Ltd. Arabs of the Desert on horses held his heart hostage and they went home with him. A great love affair began which has spanned almost 70 years.

"This was before the heyday of television. Nothing interested me on the radio. I had much rather play with my toy soldiers."

Friday, October 25, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Bob Vybrenner responds to questions about Victorian mourning.

Fifty adults took the challenge.

It was a night devoted to the reality that human life has a 100% mortality rate, and our patterns of mourning evolve.

The public was invited, and 50 inquisitive, brave-hearted souls accepted on an eve when a foreboding feeling was in the air.

Silent fog rolled in. Darkness fell and a heavy mist turned to drizzle, eventually rain.

Similar to Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians,' guests meandered one by one into the former Christian church.

Friday, October 18, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS The Stroud Mansion is now home to the Monroe County Historical Association. Currently there is a display of "Pennsylvania Pride" featuring products made in the state of Pennsylvania during the time of 1830s to present. The historic 1795 Stroud Mansion is the finest example of Georgian-style architecture in Monroe County. The 12-room house was built by Jacob Stroud, founder of Stroudsburg and a Revolutionary War colonel, as a home for his eldest son, John.

"Pennsylvania Pride" is something we all should share in.

To help feel some of that pride there is a wonderful display at the Monroe County Historical Association (MCHA) located at the historic 1795 Stroud Mansion in Stroudsburg. It celebrates many Pennsylvania businesses, past and present, some dating as far back as the 1830s, and the many products that have been and continue to be manufactured right here in Pennsylvania. The display will be up until December 20.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

By Mary Tobia

How soon will you be starting your Christmas shopping; is that on computer

or visiting stores?

Friday, October 11, 2013
An old, grainy photo by an unknown photographer shows striking miners unknowingly marching to their death on September 10, 1987.

The Lattimer Massacre was utter carnage.

Many lay dead. Others, crying, lay dying, their blood soaking into the dusty road.

Well over one dozen were murdered. Many shot in the back. Another 36 were critically wounded. Some later died.

Their bodies had been ripped apart by metal-piercing bullets and buckshot from sixteen-cartridge Winchesters.

The scene was so gory that Sheriff James Martin, who'd orchestrated the slaughter by posse, mumbled the words "I am not well," as he gazed at what must have looked like a war scene. But this wasn't war.

Friday, October 11, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS The striking miners remain together forever at St. Stanislaus Polish Roman Catholic Cemetery, Hazleton.

Sebastian Broztowski, Michael Cheslock, Frank Chrzeszeski, Adalbert Czaja, John Fotta, Anthony Grekos, George Kulick, Andrew Mieczkowski, Andrew Monikaski, Clement Platek, Raphael Rekiewicz, John Skrep, Jacob Tamashontas, John Tarnowicz, Stephen Jurics, Andrew Jurecek, Stanley Zagorski, Adam Zieminski, Adalbert Ziemba