JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
"....we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery...."
SUMMER OF HISTORY
Part Two: Valley Forge
VALLEY FORGE TO LEHIGH GORGE
On Friday, July 23rd, Lou's birthday, Debbie Benfield, Krystle Welch, Biz Albright, Crissy Miller, Ginger White, Michelle, and Lou all went to Green Valley Farm, the farm owned by Lou's father, for an exciting camping trip.
When they arrived at ten PM, Krystle, Debbie, and Crissy decided to sleep in the old springhouse on some old furniture. Lou, Ginger, and Biz decided to rough it in the tent outside. (Michelle really roughed it in the house on a bed.)
The next morning, they got up and went to Valley Forge, where they looked at a lot of old cabins where the soldiers stayed during the Revolutionary War. They also visited the old house that General Varnum stayed in. And don't forget the chapel with the courtyard.
On the way back to the farm, they stopped at Upper Schuylkill Valley Park and saw the animals in the Wildlife Center. That area was once owned by Lou's grandfather, and turned into the park after he died.
After that, they went back to the farm and went for walks, played with the metal detector and Lou's new atlatl, explored the pond, and rappelled. Then they started a fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner.
The next day, on the way home, they stopped at the Lehigh Gorge, where there is a train tunnel and bridge going right through the mountain.
"It was a great weekend," said Debbie. It all ended on Sunday at five PM, when they got home.
As most of the articles start off in our newsletter...."The LS Kids went/did...." Well, this one isn't going to start like that. It's going to start at the end.
BANG---BLAM---KABLOOIE! The fireworks in Warren, PA ended in a spectacular finish, and everyone applauded and left. The LS Kids, who had been visiting, got in the van and headed home. Michelle was driving, and Lou was up front. Then Crissy and Biz took the middle seat, while Krystle and Ginger sat in the back. They were returning from a trip to Warren that included Sinnemahoning State Park, where they saw baby eagles; the Austin Dam Ruins, where they climbed the side of the broken dam; the Kinzua Bridge, a part of which remains standing after the tornado of last summer; a dinosaur park; and Rimrock Overlook.
As always, Lou asked,"So, what was the one thing you learned today?"
Krystle learned that she could get along with even the weirdest people (indicating Crissy and Biz) during a holiday.
Ginger, who had never been to the dinosaur park before, had learned that there were always more things to discover.
Biz claimed,"When people think you're a lesbian, guys don't hit on you."
Crissy said that she had learned at least one thing from every location. At Sinnemahoning, she'd learned that baby bald eagles are extremely huge. At the Kinzua Bridge, she learned that an F-1 tornado can do a lot of damage. And in Warren, she learned that you don't have to drink to dance and have fun.
"I learned so much," declared Crissy,"Because I'm the smartest, most cunning, and most outgoing of all the LS Kids."
"You're a very bright kid, and fun to have in the group," said Lou. "Don't push it."
SAVING HIGHLAND CEMETERY
On Thursday, July 1, Lou, Biz Albright, and Ginger White went to help Dave Wallace repair Highland Cemetery in Lock Haven. This time, we were repairing gravestones.
However, Biz and Ginger claimed they couldn't do much of anything. The boys who were doing court-ordered community service were under the impression that girls couldn't do difficult work, and did all the strenuous work themselves.
"We tried to help," said Biz,"But we were thwarted immediately by the evil punks."
"Biz and Ginger did fine," said Lou. "The boys did a lot of the hard labor, but we had Biz and Ginger carrying buckets of stone up the hill. They're just as tough as the community service boys, and they weren't ordered to be there."
The LS Kids left at 11:30 AM, after the project was over.
THE WELLSBORO RELAY
Crissy Miller, Biz Albright, Lou, and Michelle went to Wellsboro, PA for the second year in a row on the sixteenth of July. They went to help set up and light the candles for the Wellsboro Relay For Life, a program to fight cancer. The Kids, active in the Lock Haven Relay, joined to help Wellsboro last year.
Contact person Melissa Bleggi set them to work as soon as they arrived, and also mentioned them in the program and had the group's name announced during the ceremony, as the candles were lit.
"Isn't that just plain old cool?" said Biz. "Could this be the big break for the LS Kids? Probably not, but it's nice to dream."
GINA FINDS HER BROTHER
FLORIDA- In February, Flordia LS Kid Regina Spence began looking for her long lost younger brother, who had been sold as an infant by her natural mother. Prompted by the discovery of a 1989 news clipping about her mother and younger brother, Gina began searching for him, with suggestions and support from Lou, Vesta Jones, Crissy Miller, Meghan Wilson, and Amber Fleming.
In June, she found him, in Pensacola, less than half an hour away from Gina herself. "Ironic, huh?" commented Gina. "I'd like to thank you all, for all who supported me in finding him....I love you guys, and I love this organization. I will keep y'all updated."
Her brother, Justin, celebrated his fifteenth birthday in July. Gina is planning to meet with him soon.
-Amber Fleming, DCS Bureau
-Ginger White, Staff
FOCUS ON SCOLIOSIS
Scoliosis is a back disorder. This back disorder causes the spine to bend or appear curved. Every six months when you go to your doctor, they check for Scoliosis.
Scoliosis can be bad enough to wear a back brace for a while, or perhaps even need corrective surgery. Or sometimes, you just need time to grow.
If you catch it in an early enough stage, Scoliosis isn't that bad. Lots of things can cause Scoliosis, such as wearing your backpack one one side of your body all the time.
Top Five Movie List
#5-Monty Python's Life Of Brian
Meet Brian, the man that was almost our Messiah. It's a good comedy unless you're a very strict Christian.
#4-The Last Unicorn
Romance, danger, magic, betrayal, death. This movie is jammed full with all the good stuff. Take a journey with the unicorn, searching for others like her.
A mini-series about alien abduction throught the decades, leading to the birth of a hybrid named Ali.
#2-Full Metal Jacket
Full of action, it's about certain events that happen to Private "Joker" during Vietnam, while he's in training and at war.
#1-Monty Python And The Holy Grail
A great comedy about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as they search for the Holy Grail. Ni!
-Run away! Run away!
Editor's Note: Since we're talking our five favorite movies here, I have to add my votes for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Spider-Man, Casablanca....And Monty Python And The Holy Grail. -L.
RHYME AND REASON
Forsaken and Forgotten
In my life you've forsaken me,
in my heart you've brought agony
in my world you've forgotten me
In my mind you've forsaken me
on my body lies trembling knees
in my world you've forgotten me
In my sight you've forsaken me
in my might you've made me weak
in my world you've forgotten me
THE RUDY REPORT
I hold a pamphlet in my paws, written by PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It's about saving puppies from cruel pet stores. PETA dedicates itself to saving animals, and helping to make sure nobody is cruel to us. This month, in my column, I have a request for PETA.
I'd like to request that PETA knock it off. On behalf of the animals, thanks, but no thanks. 'Cause PETA's a little embarrassing, and we animals would sort of prefer to distance ourselves from them.
See, PETA pulls all these bizarre stunts that do no discernable good, and frankly, they always end up looking like a bunch of ninnies. They've campaigned to get a heavy metal song changed to "Hell Bent For Pleather"; stormed the stage at a Victoria's Secret show to protest fur; bought a brick in a stadium with a secret code in it; and tried to pressure college students to drink beer instead of milk.
We animals don't endorse anything that PETA does, and we wish PETA would find themselves another cause. Maybe PETA could take up defending mailmen, or concentrate exclusively on cats. I'm good with that. But honestly, all PETA does for us animals is embarrass us. You'll notice very few animals are actually members.
Maybe I'll start a group of my own.
I'll call it DAP. Dogs Against PETA.
-Rudy The Dancing Beagle
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: A Campbelltown, PA man anonymously donated fourteen thousand dollars in cash to assist local tornado victims on July 20. He claimed he had been saving the money for a vacation with his wife, who died a few months ago. Our deepest sympathies on the loss go out to this wonderful, generous man.
Deplore It: Reality TV hits new lows with a new show on UPN, called "Amish In The City", that debuts this week. It features five Amish people, suddenly pulled from their homes and living in the city with average citizens. UPN claims the word "exploit" doesn't fit the show. Seems to me, it does.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
Assistant: Staci Wyland
National Advisor: Vesta Jones
President: Debbie Benfield
Vice-President: Krystle Welch
Secretary: Crissy Miller
Quartermaster: Meghan Rockey
Staff: Biz Albright, Destini Geraty, Ginger White, Sarah Wilson, Hilaire Reese, Ida Yost
Distant Correspondents: Kazlynn Otto, Meghan Wilson, Amber Fleming, Regina Spence
Foreign Bureau: Janice Marco
"Okay, guys, I want you each to learn at least one thing this trip." That's always the order I give them before setting out---I've done it so many times that even if I forget to actually say it, the Kids go ahead and learn something anyway. Discussing what they've learned on the way home has become part of the ritual. It's always that way, now: "Learn one thing."
Every summer, around May, I always have plans for the Kids. Camping trips, field trips, all sorts of things to see and do. And I always think to myself (which is my favorite way),"I want to make this a summer they'll always remember."
Sometimes, I succeed at that. And the best trips usually turn out to be both exciting and educational.
July was crammed with trips. Didn't mean to do that, really....It just happened. We saw maybe twenty cool things, on both ends of the state, in the space of two weeks. A lot of it grabbed the Kids' attention. Different Kids were interested in different things, the way it always is, but they were all fascinated by something along the way. The Kinzua Bridge, the dinosaur park, Warren, the Austin Dam, Valley Forge....All of these things interested certain Kids, got them thinking and discussing the places we'd been.
I can always tell when one of them is interested in something special. Suddenly, it's like someone turned up their voltage: Their eyes light up, and they focus on me and what I'm pointing out. Doesn't always happen, of course....But I can tell when it does. And the Kids learn something at those points.
A have a whole list of stuff that I'm eventually getting to, with the Kids. All sorts of new things to show them. It'll all appear in future issues, so there's no need to go into it now. But there's a lot out there to see. Mia Shelley once said to me,"I always thought Pennsylvania was boring until you came around."
During these trips, Biz Albright followed me around like a shadow, absorbing new experiences like a sponge. She wanted to see and do everything.
Late at night, at my father's place, Biz and I were sitting up with the dogs. We were on the porch swing. Biz was drawing, and we were talking about the places we could go.
"There were a few more places I could have shown you on this trip," I told her. "But I didn't want to overload you guys, wear you out."
"Oh, no way," she said. "I loved this....I could see all of this stuff. I'm never going to get tired of it."
(It's always the little ones.)
But that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. To take the Kids out, show them new things, new places....That's what I like best about this group. To see that light in their eyes....And to know I helped put it there.
-Always learn at least one thing