JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
"Wave of sorrow, do not drown me now:
I see the island, still ahead somehow.
I see the island, and its sands are fair:
Wave of sorrow, take me there."
When Debbie Cries
On October 5, 2002, the Lost Solace Kids took a trip to Columbia County. Staci Wyland, new member Hilaire Reese, Lou, and Michelle attended. They went to several different places, including the East and West Paden Bridges, the country's only twin covered bridges; Bloomsburg, the only legally registered town in Pennsylvania; Centralia, home of the world's oldest mine fire; and the world's largest inflatable dam, in Sunbury.
At the covered bridges, there was a festival held. Staci and Michelle walked aroound and looked at the crafts while Lou and Hillary threw leaves and sticks off the bridge. They grabbed some candy, and then went back on the highway.
Then they went to Bloomsburg, where they rode around downtown, and then parked the car and walked for a bit. They saw a huge inflatable bat, which was there for the Bloomsburg Bicentennial celebration. They stopped at a coffee shop, and Lou taught Hilaire how to play chess while Staci and Michelle played checkers. Bloomsburg is the only place in Pennsylvania that meets the population requirements to be classified as a town.
The next stop was Centralia. They discovered some more interesting things, such as pieces of coal erupting to the surface, and pieces of foundation left behind from houses that once stood in large sinkholes. They also discovered some new sinkholes, and the crack in Highway 61 had grown.
Afterward, the LS Kids went to a rubber, inflatable dam in Sunbury. We climbed on the rocks near the water, and saw some crayfish, minnows, and water bugs. The dam is designed to be inflated or not, and is controlled by a system on the shore. We plan to go back lots more.
CENTRALIA LOSES ZIP CODE
A "Record-Setting Trip" Sidebar
Centralia, Pennsylvania used to be a rather large town with a population of approximately a thousand people. Then, in 1962, an underground coal mine caught fire, causing the houses to be condemned and eventually evacuated.
Due to the rapid population drop, Centralia is no longer going to use ZIP code 17927. As of September 18, 2003, all twenty residents left in Centralia will be using the ZIP code of the neighboring town of Ashland, 17291. They will still be using the name Centralia.
Centralia has become an unofficial Pennsylvania tourist attraction. The LS Kids have taken several trips there.
On October 8, 2002, at 6:30 PM, the LS Kids attended a candlelight vigil held by the Clinton County Women's Center to protest domestic violence. Staci Wyland, Lou, Michelle, Debbie Benfield, and Ginger White met at Triangle Park, stood and listened to poems, songs, and stories of domestic violence.
They looked at T-shirts that were hung on a line to honor or remember victims of domestic violence.
SUPPORTING THE TROOPS
On October 6th, Debbie Benfield, Lou, Staci Wyland, and new member Hilaire Reese went to BiLo to collect small grocery items to send to the troops overseas.
The LS Kids were asked to help out by the Red Cross.
They went about it by handing out pamphlets, with lists of items the soldiers might like to receive. They gave these pamphlets to customers entering the store. A lot of them were quick and generous to respond, and others were a bit resistant.
All in all, the day was considered productive. The box was filled at the end of the day, with mostly food and shower items.
On Halloween night, the Lost Solace Kids participated in a parade through downtown Lock Haven. The Halloween Parade started at seven PM on October 31, 2002, beginning at the corner of Main and Henderson Streets. It continued up Bellefonte Avenue to Church Street, and ended at the fire hall.
Lou, Michelle, Debbie Benfield, Marjorie Shelley, Ginger White, and Kendra Koch walked in the parade, throwing candy to the children watching. They assembled with the rest of the parade on Henderson Street at six PM. Lou dressed as Robin, Debbie went as a bag of garbage, and Sam the Schnauzer dressed in a small dog-sized leather biker jacket.
When they reached Vesper Street, they ran out of candy, so Lou dashed into the Dollar Store to get more before rejoining the others back in the parade.
After the parade ended, they went back to the apartment and had hot chocolate and what was left of the candy.
For the close of the day from riding around looking at all the sites, the Covered Bridge Festival, Bloomsburg, Centralia, and the inflatable dam with the LS Kids, we headed off to Mill Hall to feed the hundreds of ducks that live on Bald Eagle Creek.
Before going there, we stopped to pick up Sam, one of the K-9 members of the LS Kids, and brought him along. Hilarie, Lou and Staci went down by the water’s edge to feed the ducks. Usually the ducks swarm around you anywhere you would stand with food, even in the middle of the road. Tonight, they refused to come out of the water. Michelle and Sam stayed up by the road watching the kids feed the ducks.
Once all the bread was fed to the ducks we all headed for home to prepare for another adventure in the future.
PENNSYLVANIA- The Renovo Flaming Foliage festival is held every year in the fall. This year, it began on October 12, and Lou and Michelle attended with the LS Kids' Renovo Bureau, Sarah and Meghan Wilson. Sarah and her boyfriend Scott met Lou and Michelle in Lock Haven at ten AM, and they drove up to Renovo together.
The festival began with a parade that lasted for an hour and a half. Scott's daughter Desi was the 2002 Future Queen, and got to ride on a float. Meghan Wilson was in the parade as a flag-twirler.
After the parade, they got some food from the Renovo Fire Hall, and then walked through the festival, looking at the craft and food stands.
"I hope Michelle has her shopping shoes on," Sarah said.
TEXAS- In Texas, I live in a little town called Bells. At the Bells Elementary School, they held a Fall Festival on October 26, 2002. This is something my hometown does almost every year around this time. This event helped raise money for the school campus. All you have to do is either buy raffle tickets or regular tickets so you can play games.
There were raffle tickets passed out. They cost a dollar each. With these tickets they had a drawing. There were many prizes, including a TV/VCR, Gameboy advance, and a Eureka vacuum cleaner.
Like always, there were craft carts out in the hallway. Most of the crafts are handmade, so you get to see how everyone has a talent in making their own things.
There were tons of games, like pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, sandart creations, and many other fun games. But before you got to play these games, you had to buy tickets and give them to the person with the ticket basket. During this major event, you get to have a family outing and have fun.
MISSOURI- For some, driving five hours just to see a doctor for some cosmetic surgery might seem a little extreme. However, to many, it's only the beginning to a whole new world.
October 7, 2002, I set out for this new beginning. Traveling to Kansas City on my own was a very interesting trip. Five long hours on the open highway didn't seem to go by quickly enough. Once to the hotel, I was ready to just go to bed, but I had a lot of work to do first. Making copies of every test I had done and studying for a test I was going to have a few days later took up most of the late
afternoon. At nine PM I went to bed, but it wasn't a very
I woke early and went to breakfast, then went back to my room to pack back up. I arrived at the hospital at 11:30 AM. My appointment was at one.
Finally, at one PM, I was called back, and the doctor came and took a look at all of my tests, and decided that I was ready and we could go on. He asked if I had a special date that would be best for me. We then made my date for the surgery three days after my fall classes end: December 16, 2002.
I had many people to talk to before I could leave to go home. I also had to go to a special meeting with many other patients of the doctor, who have had the surgery, and those like me, waiting to have it. Talking the the people that have had it was really rewarding and informative.
At seven PM, I started to head home. Once more, five long hours ahead of me, but I had plenty to think about, so it didnt seem that long. I am ready for this journey that will last a lifetime.
Drugs can be bad for many people. Sometimes you can't just quit, and this is called addiction.
You can damage your lungs badly by smoking. Most people don't belive that it can happen, but it can. You can get Lung Cancer from smoking, and tobacco can give you Mouth Cancer and and gum disease.
Many people have died because of drugs, even legal ones, such as drinking cough medicine when they don't need it. Some get lucky and just black out for maybe half an hour.
Editor's Note: True. For more on this topic, contributed by one of the kids, go to Lost Solace's Creative Writing Page.
BLONDE AT HEART
I just had surgery. I’m okay. I wish this could be a longer column, but I don’t remember much of it.
They had me on an IV full of tranquilizers. The nurse told me to think about pleasant things. So I thought: Candy canes....Horses....Flowers....Rainbows....
And then I was out. The next thing I really remember was Dr Myers standing over me as I woke up from the anesthetic. It was like that movie: "Miss Wilson? Miss Sarah Wilson? I’m your number one fan. Do you know what day it is?"
But they gave me more anesthesia, which was kind of pleasant, and I got to eat for free. I still got tonsils and an appendix. Maybe I should go get them taken out, and see how that goes.
Forever And A Day
The day I'm back
Inside your arms
Will be the day
I'm safe from all harm
Never, ever, ever again
Will I look another way
If you promise me your love
Forever and a day.
THE RUDY REPORT
These young pups today....
Lou's wife, Michelle, brought her dog Sam to visit over the weekend. So I'm out chasing rabbits, which is what I do when I'm not the free-lance dog for the JJJ. And Sam wants to come along and chase rabbits with me, even though he's never seen a rabbit his whole life.
Kid, I got just one piece of advice for you: Give it up.
You need experience to chase rabbits. You have to work at it, and practice your sniffing. I've been doing this for years, and you're just too brand-new. Also, you're only a Schnauzer.
Pups today have it too easy. When I was a pup, I didn't get all the attention....Acutally, I did....But I didn't just get food handed to me when I begged for it....Well, maybe I did that, too....
Okay, but I danced a lot for my food. I didn't just bark and then....Well, sometimes I did that, too....
Oh, okay, Sam. You wanna hunt rabbits with me? Come on along, I could use the company. But if we actually see one, stay out of my way, rookie.
-Rudy The Dancing Beagle
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: So often in the world, people don't want to get involved. But during the hunt for the sniper in Maryland and Virginia, the police have stated that citizens have been very helpful, coming forth with information and eyewitness accounts.
Adoration to all those citizens who got involved. Your efforts may contribute to saving lives.
Deplore It: I'm dissing CNN. In an effort to attract younger viewers, CNN has gone whack. The news channel has decided to include slang terms on their news broadcasts.
Can you imagine this? "Los Angeles International Airport was illin' today when the Man got the 411 on a dude poppin' some caps. But the cops went medieval on the sucka. It was, like, so phat. Back to you, Bob."
CNN should just chill, yo. Just report the news, okay? And leave the clever talk to us teenagers. Back to you, Lou.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
President: Brenda Geyer
IVP: Staci Wyland
EVP: Marjorie Shelley
Secretary: Debbie Benfield
Quartermaster: Mia Shelley
Staff: Julie Rote, Hilaire Reese, Krystle Welch, Ginger White
Renovo Bureau: Sarah Wilson, Meghan Wilson
DCS Bureau Head: Vesta Jones
Distant Correspondents: Amber Fleming, Kazlynn Otto, Rachel Wykry
Every year, the Women's Center Candlelight Vigil does the same thing to me. Every year, I want to cry.
You’d think I might be used to it by now. The stories they tell at the vigil---Stories of abuse and fear, the terrible things people do to one another---Are things I deal with on an almost daily basis. I have been since I was sixteen. You’d think I might have developed a more callous attitude to it by now. And yet, I really haven’t; I still tear up when I hear these things.
So. The day of the vigil. I got home from work to find Staci waiting for me. We threw on our jackets and headed out, with me figuring that this year, it was probably going to be just Staci and me for the vigil.
And then behind us, whipping down Corning Street, comes Debbie on her rollerblades. She comes tearing across Church Street without looking, nearly giving me a heart attack. Rolls up to us, and declares,"Okay. Let’s go, then."
Debbie is a fun kid. She’s bright, but she takes steps to hide it. She is sixteen---The same age I was when I first started fighting abuse. And Debbie takes a lot of pride in what a tough, bad kid she is. She goes out of her way to make everyone believe she’s one badass little juvenile delinquent.
But I know better. Despite Debbie’s tough act, I adore her. She is fun to talk to, and makes some very intelligent observations. She tries so hard to be a tough little kid, but there’s a brain in there.
We got to the vigil, and it was the usual thing. They lit candles and sang a few songs, and had some abuse victims from the community up to give their speeches. I suppose after almost a decade of seeing the same program once a year, you do get somewhat inured to it. I was feeling bad for the victims, but not enough to be really upset. Not yet.
But then I looked over, and saw Debbie.
My little badass was brushing tears away. As she listened to an abuse victim tell her story, Debbie was crying.
Debbie takes such pride in being a tough kid. And yet, she can still be affected by the stories. And when Debbie cries, the story is tragic. When Debbie cries, it’s bad.
I stood behind her, and hugged her, and rocked her a little as we listened to the stories of abuse. Seeing her cry made me tear up a bit, too.
"We’re working on it, kid," I whispered. "We’re helping people like this, as much as we can."
Debbie brushed away a few tears. "I just got something in my eye," she said.
"Yeah," I said. "Me too."
-Working on it