Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

March 22, 2023
I recently spent a weekend in Pittsburgh. I have been there several times before, but never tire of turning the corner and seeing the city majestically standing there before me. I love this city of hills and bridges. It doesn’t take you long to feel the sense of pride these self-proclaimed “Yinzers” have in their city. What is a “Yinzer” you might ask. The best description, this is the way Pittsburghers identify themselves. It has derived from the way they refer to “you all”, or “you guys”. Such as, “Are Yinz going to the game”? As I shopped my way through the Strip District, there were piles and piles of T-shirts with “Yinz” emblazoned on them. The other thing I noticed as I continued my shopping journey was the wide variety of St. Patrick’s Day items for sale. Once again, the Pittsburghers’ pride was showing, especially from those of Irish heritage. Some of the T-shirt’s messages were not exactly G-rated, but I did find two that I purchased and can comfortably wear in public without embarrassing my children. Learn More

Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories

March 22, 2023
March is Women in History Month and this year’s theme is, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” As fate would have it, I recently ran across the story of a woman who was born, raised, and married here in Lewistown. Her name was Laura Lucretia Mitchell, and she was born in 1849. As you will soon discover, this woman with local roots, went on to write a very important chapter in the proverbial book of women’s rights. Growing up, Laura was described by those who knew her best as a passionate reader, which contributed to her becoming both a forward thinker and an expressive communicator. She had a supportive family who encouraged her to continue her education. Combine those qualities with her passion, and she soon became a force to be reconned with. She sharpened her delivery skills as a teacher and in 1873 she met and married the love of her life, James Johns. Thankfully, she found a man who supported her as she became more and more passionate about the fight for women’s equality in business, society, and especially politics. Learn More

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

March 22, 2023
Since February is Black History Month, a time set aside to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who have struggled through adversity to improve their lives, I thought it might be a great time to focus on a forgotten piece of Lewistown’s own black history. If you have been following my articles you may recall that the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce has been working with the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, the Mifflin County Historical Society, Lewistown Borough, and others to restore the African American Memorial Cemetery located across the street from Sheetz in Lewistown. It was in serious need of repairs and upkeep. Many of the grave markers have been cleaned and restored. Some which were completely buried, have been raised and set. With money raised through fundraising efforts, you will soon see landscaping improvements. Eventually signage will be installed, telling the stories of many who are buried there along with other African American local history. Learn More

Don't Lose the Moon While Counting the Stars

March 22, 2023
There is a very important issue that seems to be on everyone’s radar these days. You hear it deliberated nationally as well as locally. It is discussed on the evening news, when talking to law and government representatives, in our classrooms, our senior centers, television programs, and even in our churches. No people group is immune to it. It affects every age, socio-economic class, race, and sex. I think I could go so far as to say that most of us have struggled with this issue at least once in our life. Then why is it, I wonder, that we still sidestep it, build stereotypes around it, and push it under the rug? Learn More

For Here's to Thee Chief Logan

February 1, 2023
That was the first phrase to my high school’s alma mater. It finishes with, “We ever will be loyal, and we’ll praise your grand old name.” So, as you may have guessed, I was and still am a Chief Logan Mingo, having graduated from Chief Logan High School (we will conveniently not mention the year). I often emphasize that fact by stating that my blood runs green, our school color, thus upholding the words of the alma matter, showing my loyalty. I thought it might be interesting to delve into just who Chief Logan was and why it was believed that he was worthy to have a high school named after him. After reading many versions and interpretations of his life, here is the best summation I could produce. His story began in the early 1700s when he was born near Lake Cayuga, which is one of the Finger Lakes located in New York. He was the second son of a chief whose tribe was one of the six tribes that made up the Iroquois nation. His given name was Talgahyeeta. His father attended many meetings in Philadelphia and was a guest of James Logan. The two became great friends and his father decided to change his son’s name to John Logan. Learn More