Opinion

Welcome to My World: The Pain of Laughter |Apr 16, 2018

My mother died in her 80s. We, the ten children, inherited her sense of humor. We, the children, in Mom’s footsteps did anything to get a good laugh.

Reflections: Imprisoned in a single dimension by two-faced grass |Apr 16, 2018

Brown patches of dirt (OK, that’s redundant because you seldom see green patches of dirt) should know their environment, their context, their place. They have no business acting like churlish interlopers and squatting where grass once grew in my lawn.

A Look Back in History: Once consistent Pa Dutch food staples |Apr 16, 2018

Being a descendant from frugal Pennsylvania Dutch families mostly living in Berks County, many hillside farmers were hard pressed to feed their families when downturns in the national economy created not only a scarcity of jobs, but a deficiency of food in household pantries.

A Look Back in History: Colonial Fresh-Baked Bread and Hard Cider |Apr 13, 2018

As we look back over 250 years of American history, certainly nobody thinks about the history of bread, maybe hard cider, but certainly not Colonial bread. I hope most people realize the spongier type of bread manufactured today is not the same bread as yesteryear, let alone centuries ago.

A Look Back in History: A unique acculturation of English food |Apr 5, 2018

Ever since the Colonial period, PA Dutch farmers in Berks, Lehigh and Lancaster counties have counted on imports from the English port of Philadelphia, and in return, we sold our food and grain products etc.

Welcome to My World: Lesson on life from ‘Peace Pilgrim’ |Apr 5, 2018

“The way of Peace is the way of Love.

A Berks County student perspective in response to school shootings |Apr 5, 2018

Hurt, despair, betrayal. These are feelings that many students across the country feel due to the lack of action that has been taken in wake of the school shootings that are almost being normalized.

Letter: Truck traffic is over the top on Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown |Apr 5, 2018

I am speaking as a Boyertown community member, retired PE teacher, and advocate for community wellness. I live in a neighboring township in the Boyertown Area School District very close to Route 73, and I am impacted by traffic created by the Delaware County ash trucks which travel along the main road in our community.

A Look Back in History: A birthday tribute to the father of the American folklife movement |Mar 29, 2018

With several PA Dutchmen and women approaching their 100th birthday, together with fellow aging countrymen from Europe, America’s Civilization has unmistakably become one nation under God with Liberty and Justice for all.

A Look Back in History: Surviving Frontier Log Homes in Kutztown |Mar 21, 2018

The many salmon brick Victorian homes in the villages around Maxatawny Township give one the impression that our township is a later, pre-Civil War settlement, but lurking around each corner, one may still find log houses or log cabins that have survived from early American times.

Letter: New laws won’t stop criminals from obtaining guns |Mar 19, 2018

For transparency, I am an NRA life member, hunter, father and grandfather. In response to Mr. Tatum’s March 13th article, I feel he has missed the mark. The NRA is made up of like-minded people who are gun owners for various reasons.

Welcome to My World: The Day of Palms |Mar 15, 2018

We all know palm branches were cut from trees and strewn on the streets the first Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt. Before that time, the early Israelites used “palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars” (Leviticus 23:40 NIV) to adorn the booths at an autumn festival.

Reflections: Baseball season — when we can park the real world in right field |Mar 15, 2018

Another major league baseball season soon will be upon us as the players knock off winter’s rust in spring training. For those of us who follow the game, it’s time to be eternal adolescents once again.

A Look Back in History: Planting Onions and Peas on Saint Patrick’s Day |Mar 15, 2018

Among the wise and prudent, self-sufficient PA Dutch people, their Americana folk calendar has always called for the planting of onions and peas on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. Since Colonial times, gardeners were urged to hedge themselves against a shorter sporadic growing season in North America, a folk practice learned by early Americans who had suffered devastating, long, winter storms.

Letter: Brace yourselves for KutzPatty Day on March 24 |Mar 15, 2018

Dear Editor, Some timely advice for new neighbors in our community.

Person to Person - Impact: Do You Want to be a Mini Hero? |Mar 7, 2018

In a January column, I addressed heroes in our towns and around the world. I realize there are many types of people that can be considered heroic but I only listed a few: men and women in our military, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, medics and everyday civilians who rush to others’ care in the case of an emergency.

A Look Back in History: Importance of Pennsylvania Dutch taverns and wayside inns Part II |Mar 7, 2018

With the agrarian excellence of the Germanic farmer and culinary expertise of their Dutch housewives, it is easy to understand why so many colonists, whatever the ethnicity, returned to their various homes acclaiming the fine hospitality of the Pennsylvania Dutch taverns.

Welcome to my World: Boomba can be fun! |Mar 7, 2018

When you hear a cloudburst of sounds of clang, boom, ting-a-ling, rattle, toot, jingle and thump, what instrument do you conjure up? It’s called a boomba. It’s a percussion instrument consisting of a five-foot pole on a spring base, with tambourine, cowbell, wooden block, and Swiss bells attached.

A Look Back in History: Cultural importance of our Pennsylvania Dutch taverns and wayside inns |Mar 1, 2018

During the American Revolution, patriotic farmers provided hundreds of wagons for winning our freedom with a number of six horse teams, besides the necessary flour and iron supplies from our mills and foundries in the vast Oley Valley basin to fortify our troops.

Welcome to my World: I love my husband, but… |Mar 1, 2018

It certainly is true, I love my husband, but… It’s also true we are capable –in our 70s---of doing a lot of things together, but not furniture!

SPEAKER MIKE TURZAI: PA Supreme Court oversteps authority to redraw Congressional map |Feb 21, 2018

Sen. Joe Scarnati, as the Pennsylvania Senate Pro Tempore, and I, as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House, filed an Emergency Application for a Stay with the United States Supreme Court today. Our application makes clear that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not have the power to invalidate the constitutional, democratically passed congressional map.

GUEST COLUMN: Rebuilding U.S. infrastructure requires better access to minerals, metals |Feb 21, 2018

For a White House often accused of being divisive, President Trump may yet bring warring parties together on a major initiative that few voters will oppose. In his ‘State of the Union’ address last month, the president declared a major priority of his administration will be the rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure.

Person to Person - Impact: Most are welcome |Feb 19, 2018

As a kid, it was always fun when the doorbell rang, when it was the truck that came down our long gravel driveway outside of York, Pennsylvania, to sell groceries. In later years, the Bond Breadman (beside bread, he also sold cookies and donuts), or Mrs.

A Look Back in History:L Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles houses iconic Berks Conestoga Wagon |Feb 19, 2018

The greatest fallacy ever contrived about the Conestoga wagon was that the Waggoner sat in the wagon buckboard-fashion as he drove his team. In driving the Conestoga, the Waggoner never sat in or on the wagon bed, but always on the near left wheel horse in a Waggoner’s saddle.

Reflections: Pull the trigger on assault weapons |Feb 19, 2018

Mass shootings become indelibly seared in our memories, much like Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, etc. Sadly, there undoubtedly will be more to come.

Welcome to my world: Home is where I find it |Feb 19, 2018

I attended a “Wild Women” retreat at a camp in the mountains nearby. The coordinator asked the women to bring something that represents “home” to us to be on display with a short note why it represented home.

Welcome to my World: Honoring women in history who tried to run for President |Feb 15, 2018

I kept the best candidates for president last, namely Gracie Allen and myself. We both have something in common: we love a good laugh. Here is Gracie’s story.

Letter: Government and leadership gone awry! |Feb 15, 2018

The “fact” that our government in America has gone awry at “all” levels is exposed for “all” to witness on a daily basis given resulting news reports “true or false.

A Look Back in History: Americana Chicken and Waffle Dinners of the Pa Dutch |Feb 15, 2018

As a Pennsylvania historian, I have always been fascinated with the early American iron industry in southeastern Pennsylvania where our iron ore mines were excavated by Colonists to meet the growing demand for the local iron furnaces.

opinion: Many new jobs would be created after passing ‘One Tax And Done’ |Feb 9, 2018

In response to recent Mike Zielinski column:

Reflections: Seems as if raindrops are always falling on our heads |Feb 8, 2018

Is it just me or is it usually wet around here?

A Look Back in History: Living in the PA Dutch Pot Pie belt of America |Feb 5, 2018

One might judge the true ethnicity of a Pennsylvania Dutchman, according to how he or she loves to eat our native chicken pot pie, the national dish of the PA Dutch in southeastern Pennsylvania.

As I See It: Why is desire to import immigrant on the rise? |Jan 31, 2018

Unlimited immigration... open borders... DACA. With America’s failing immigration system in the cross hairs of a political battle, the issue seems destined to die on fallow ground. The influx of “Dreamers” into this country is growing exponentially as chain migration, visas, lotteries, and both legal and illegal importation remains well above the historic average.

Reflections: Replace state, local, sales and property taxes in favor of bigger federal income tax |Jan 30, 2018

OK, we’re all going to die. We’re all going to pay taxes. You read it here first.

Welcome to My World: Women running for Presidency in 21st century (part 3 of series) |Jan 29, 2018

For the 21st century, I chose women who ran for president from each party.

A Look Back in History: Victorian dumb-waiters of the Pa Dutch people |Jan 29, 2018

Nowhere were there as many early American bakers and cooks than in the rural PA Dutch Country, where housewives had to feed large families of farm children, not to mention hired farm hands and extra helpers at harvest time.

A Look Back in History: The PA Dutch Groundhog Work-Ethic Cycle |Jan 23, 2018

The amusing groundhog folk customs and traditions of our PA Dutch people predicting the advancing weather were carefully passed on to new generations by our early Rhineland immigrants. For some of these pioneers, survival in the New World was a matter of folk wisdom.

Welcome to my world: 3 women in 1972 run for Presidency (Part 2 of series) |Jan 23, 2018

A Brief History in honor of the women who tried to become President, part 2.For the 20th century, I chose three women, who in 1972, tried to run for the Presidency.

Person to Person - IMpact: A song for Barb after 50 years marriage |Jan 23, 2018

There is a song written in 1892 by English composer Harry Dacre entitled “Daisey Bell”, that all of us oldtimers know. Since this column is about a marriage between a handsome young gent named Jeff and a belle by the name of Barb, I have changed the first two words in the chorus in this column.

Reflections: Presidential decorum -- or the lack thereof |Jan 16, 2018

This is not about politics, policy or partisanship. This is about Presidential demeanor – or the lack thereof. There is a stark decorum gap with President Donald Trump. No President has ever been so un-presidential in public.

A Look Back in History: PA Dutch Deivel’s Dreck wards away sickness |Jan 16, 2018

Most everyone enjoys PA Dutch homemade cooking, I know I miss my grandmother’s, but even few old timers even her can remember PA Dutch homemade recipes to protect young children from catching a dreaded or deadly illness when going to an old fashioned one-room schoolhouse.

Welcome to my World: Historians estimate at least 200 women sought office of U.S. President |Jan 16, 2018

Most historians estimate at least 200 women have sought the office of the U.S. President. I was stunned. I decided to devote a four-part series to 8 of them and let my readers research the 194 that are left.

Welcome to my World: Would cryonic suspension be worth it? |Jan 11, 2018

Reprint: 2017 Funny Times I just read in the paper some guy wishes to have his head frozen. Mainly, he’s anticipating that future scientists will have discovered a way to cure a tumor or how to reattach a decapitated head to a healthy body.

A Look Back in History: Moyer photographed life in Oley (Part 3) |Jan 11, 2018

Unlike H. Winslow Fegley, Amandus Moyer photographed life in the Oley Hills, specifically, around an un-captured Fredericksville and the tavern at Landis Store where frontier farmers lived more in seclusion.

Person to Person - Impact: Webster provides many definitions for the word ‘Hero’ |Jan 8, 2018

The intellectual Mr. Webster provides many definitions for the word “Hero”, including: “a large sandwich consisting of a long, split roll, having a variety of fillings [such] as meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes and onions.

A Look Back in History In 19th Century, few took time to photograph folklife (Part 2) |Jan 4, 2018

When photography was invented in the 19th Century, few photographers took the time to photograph actual folklife of people living in the area except for Winslow Fegley and Amandus Moyer who lived near Lobachsville.

Reflections: What’s missing in America? Idealism |Jan 4, 2018

You know what’s missing in America?

Welcome to My World: Celebrate the season of Epiphany |Jan 4, 2018

Reprint: Daily Meditation , 1st Rights 1992; 2014 Lutheran Digest

Sen. Dinniman: 6 Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline questions that need answers |Jan 1, 2018

As we enter a new year, serious concerns about the safety of the Sunoco’s Mariner East pipelines are not going away. In fact, they’re only growing and so are our voices. Important questions about these pipelines — pipelines carrying highly volatile natural gas liquids such as butane and propane – will be front-and-center in 2018.

JERRY SHENK: Day of reckoning coming for higher ed |Dec 26, 2017

Unsurprisingly, despite 2017’s robust job growth, the American labor market remains glutted with many thousands of under- and unemployed college graduates.