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Friday Feature

Friday, January 13, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Forty years ago, Pete Patterson transported the massive Tamaqua Victoria Theatre organ to center city Allentown. The ducts visible overhead are not heating pipes, but actually part of the organ's blower system.

A special part of Tamaqua's past has been found in center city Allentown and there is talk about bringing it home where it belongs.

Everyone thought it had been destroyed. But they were mistaken.

Friday, December 30, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS As a "daughter" of the house, Samantha Krabutler demonstrates what it was like making cookies in the 1890s. "Mama says if you don't fill a wash basket full, you didn't bake enough." She explained that almost all the ingredients come from the farm from the eggs, milk, butter and honey. The grain they raise, her father takes to the mill to have it ground into flour. A visiting tinsmith makes the cookie cutters, like those hanging behind her, even a silhouette of "Grandmother." They made cutouts of fish and hung them on a string to represent the Trinity and hung them on the tree and in the windows. They'd keep a basket of cookies for the Belsnickle, the mythical southern Germany version of Santa Claus.

Many have Christmas traditions handed down to them from generation to generation. Baking cookies, trimming a Christmas tree and caroling are just a few.

When families gather, they often tell and retell their stories of past Christmases.

What if you could relive Christmas days of yore? What would it have been like to have a Christmas tree with no electric lights or to bake cookies in the oven of a wood stove or to work on making homemade Christmas presents by candlelight?

Friday, December 23, 2011

I peer out the window,

And gaze at movement far away.

Grown-ups rushing past me

All throughout the day.

The land is full of wonder

And discoveries rare and true.

So much of it is puzzling,

To a child only two.

Teasing voices make me smile,

Despite potential danger.

Which helping hand shall I learn trust

When all the world's a stranger?

They say it's almost Christmas,

Whatever that might mean.

For a toddler it's much harder

To imagine sights unseen.

I'll try to learn, I'll try to grow

Friday, December 16, 2011
IF POSSIBLE PLEASE USE THIS

Betsy Burnhauser, secretary of the Palmerton Area Historical Society, introduced the speaker for the Christmas banquet held Dec. 12 at the Blue Ridge Country Club.

According to Burnhauser, Jack Gunsser is one person who draws a lot of people to the January show-and-tell meeting of the Society. He will entertain and educate you, said Burnhauser.

Gunsser asked everyone to get up and stretch before he began his talk about Christmas traditions.

Friday, December 9, 2011
Ian Walck is termed a train fanatic by his mother and grandmother who brought him to the open house.

"Forty-three cars."

A visitor to the Carbon Model Railroad Society open house stood and counted the cars on one of the many trains that run through scenic areas and villages, past industries and farms.

President Garry Mack said the Society is not a train club but a modeling club with a special interest in building an interesting display. Members who do not have a platform to run their trains at home can bring them to the clubhouse and run them there.

Friday, December 2, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  The exotic color and customs of the most populous nation on earth were showcased in November 2010, when 'Colorful China' was presented at the Tamaqua Area Auditorium. On Dec. 16, a similar-sized, world-renowned Chinese dance drama, 'Silk Road, Flower Rain,' will be offered free to the public.

A portion of the acclaimed spectacle seen by the world at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is coming to Tamaqua in two weeks, where it will be presented free to the public.

'Silk Road, Flower Rain,' the world-famous dance drama from the People's Republic of China, will take the stage of the Tamaqua Area Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m., in a special international cultural ambassadorship performance.

Friday, November 25, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Public Library

The Tamaqua Public Library Local History Collection proudly includes the following family histories, contributed by local residents: Herring Family of Pennsylvania; Lindenmuth Family of America; Whetstone Family Research; Johann Adam and Anna Marie Mertz Zehner of Berks and Schuylkill counties; Brobst/Probst Family; Tamerus Family; Lichtenwalner Family History; Leiby Geneaology and History, 1565-1996; Steigerwalt Family, 1767-1979; Kellers, Hometown's Earliest Settlers, by Louise Frederickson Fox, 1989; Hein family records and research by Dan Schroeder.

Friday, November 25, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Eric Zizelmann, Tamaqua Public Library trustee, spearheaded the drive to create a Local History Collection at the facility, providing the foundation for local genealogical research.

A priceless and growing collection of genealogical research materials has made the Tamaqua Public Library a hot spot for those searching a family tree.

The new Local History Collection had its start about five years ago with a $5,000 Department of Community and Economic Development grant, according to Eric Zizelmann, library trustee, who helped spearhead the effort.

The grant, secured during the tenure of librarian Debi Dodson, now associated with the Shenandoah Public Library, allowed a two-pronged approach to build up existing resources.

Friday, November 18, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS The Lucetta Harlan House, 206 N. Lehigh St., Tamaqua, will open its doors along with several other homes on Saturday, Dec. 3, during the 16th Annual Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival.

Victorian House Tours, a showcase attraction, will return for the 16th Annual Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival after a few years' absense, complemented by one dozen special events spread over four days.

The festival is set for December 1-4 with the majority of events offered free to the public.

"We are also bringing back the craft and vendor show on Sunday," says Jean Ann Towle, chairman. "It looks like a full weekend of activities." The event will kick off with the Little Miss Spirit of Christmas Festival and annual Holiday Tree Festival, a decorating competition.

Friday, November 11, 2011
A caboose with the flashing lights and gates to protect drivers is on the hatch of the Cruizer.

When Richard Hoey of Bethlehem bought a limited edition PT Cruiser in 2001, he was considering it as a show car. It was pin-striped and decorated with depictions of Goofy. The limited-edition cars in that particular year had all of the extras that could be added. But by the following year of production, add-ons had to be purchased separately for all Cruisers.

Hoey said he ordered his car in November, 2000, and was told it would take eight months until he would receive it because of the backlog of orders.

"But I got it in five months," he said happily.