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Friday Feature

Friday, May 18, 2012
These better-than-two-foot diameter logs await the saw.

As members of the Polk Township Historical Society gathered at the Burger Sawmill in Kresgeville, brothers Jeff and Clark Burger greeted them. Their father, Johnny Burger, at age 83, is still active in the business.

"He's still the main guy," is the way Jeff put it.

The yard is filled with stacks of different-sized logs, with the smallest logs to be turned into firewood. It used to be sold as pulp but there is no call for pulp anymore. There are a few with a diameter of over two feet. When a truckload of logs comes to the yard it is sorted as it is unloaded, said Clark.

Friday, May 4, 2012
Baby photo of two-year-old Jerome Coonon, whose fate is unknown.

Has the answer to Tamaqua's biggest mystery finally been uncovered?

Resident George Fredericks thinks so. The senior citizen believes in his heart he knows what happened to Jerome Coonon, the two-year-old boy who went missing from a backyard. Jerome was never seen again, a case that stumped police, search teams and even the FBI.

Approaching age 86 and in the twilight of his life, Fredericks, a U.S. Army veteran, wants the story to be known.

"The boy never left that backyard," says Fredericks. "And there was nobody else around."

Friday, April 27, 2012
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The jumpmaster in blue to the left of Russ Frank tells him when to jump after the previous person is out of the way. Spectators and a television satellite dish fill the bridge.

Have you ever been told to go jump off a bridge?

Russ Frank of Towamensing Township decided that was what he wanted to do for his 65th birthday.

Bridge Day at Fayettesville, W.Va., is one of two sites in the United States where BASE jumping is legal. BASE stands for bridges, antennas, spans and earth (mountains).

Friday, April 20, 2012
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Polk Elementary's Charlene Taylor and her Odyssey of the Mind team won second place in the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition and on to states last week.

Education's goal is to help children accumulate knowledge, skills, customs and values. Today's educators often try do this in imaginative and creative ways.

Polk Elementary School's teachers fit that bill. Four of them, Charlene Taylor, Jeannine Saylor, Deborah Loughren and Linda Kosakowski, journeyed with several fourth grade students in an odyssey of their own as they prepared for the Odyssey of the Mind challenge.

Friday, April 13, 2012
Scott D. Herring

Six men spanning five generations and 150 years:

George M. Bretz (1842-1895) Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, 1870s-1880s

William H. Rau (1855-1920) Lehigh Valley RR and Pennsylvania Railroad, 1890s

John Horgan, Jr. (1859-1926) Delaware & Hudson Railway, 1905-1926

Watson Bunnell (1871-1950) Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, 1905-1919

George Harvan (1921-2002) Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co. / Lanscoal 1949-1972

Scott D. Herring (1960-present) Independent, 1973-onward

Friday, April 13, 2012
In October, 1995, Herring captured this image of the breaker at Delaware & Hudson Railway's Hudson Coal Company Colliery, Larksville, near Kingston, Pa.

Scott Herring is an artist behind a lens. He's not looking to simply take a picture.

Instead, Herring is using photos to tell the story of our region.

For the past forty years, the Tamaqua native has used two gifts - the technical capability of a camera and his limitless ingenuity - to paint a timeless mural of a rich culture and a disappearing landscape.

The end result is The Hardcoal Chronicles Fortieth Anniversary, a canvas that captures the life and times of the anthracite coal fields and the essence of the hardworking people who built America.

Friday, April 6, 2012
Large bas-relief sculptures in the Chapel of Lithuanian Martyrs at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, are a match to ones found at Tamaqua's SS. Peter and Paul Church. The sculptures were created by the same world-class artist.

Sometimes we journey far away and learn more about our own backyard.

Such was the case recently when four Tamaqua friends traveled 4,400 miles to Rome, Italy, and made a surprising discovery about their church back home.

It happened unexpectedly and left the visitors dumbstruck.

For Bill Savage, it began with a special feeling.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Some interesting trivia that Michelle McLaughlin shares about quilts are:

*Years ago, it was a practice for the mistress of a Pennsylvania Dutch home to put out her best quilts on Sundays because she knew company was coming.

*If a woman could not read or write, she could at least sew and quilt. Women used quilts as a way to express themselves, historically, and giving her point of view.

*Quilts express a woman's voice of her time, her political views and national beliefs. There was a rose pattern that was known as a Democrat rose and one as the Whig rose.

Friday, March 30, 2012
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS At a Palmerton Concourse Club meeting, Michelle McLaughlin displays a Centennial quilt from her husband's family, dating it to 1876, determined by the fabric that has the dates 1776-1876 printed on it.

"I'm passionate about antique quilts," says Michele McLaughlin of Emmaus.

A quiltmaker for over 30 years, she has become an avid collector of antique and vintage quilts. She thinks she probably has over 100.

"I began collecting when people started giving me old quilts. I feel responsible for them, so I've become their caretaker."

To Michelle, there is a mystique about quilts.

"They speak to people. I don't know if it's the energy the women use when they put them together or if it's the passion we historians and collectors have for them. It just seems fortuitous."

Friday, March 23, 2012
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Lori Carnes as Juliette Low told the story of the founding of Girl Scouts.

Juliette Gordon Low, portrayed by Lori Carnes, visited the Girl Scouts celebrating the anniversary of Girl Scouting in the United States.

She said she was born in 1860 at Savannah, Ga., and was nicknamed Daisy because she had the same name as her grandmother. The southern states began to secede from the union so the family moved to Chicago where people didn't like them because they were southerners.