JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
What does it take to save a memory?
"It's in our History books, it's in old movies, everyone knows about this bridge....This bridge is a monument. Why must we just forget about it?"
SAVE THE KINZUA BRIDGE
SAVE THE KINZUA BRIDGE
The LS Kids began visiting the Kinzua Bridge on April 19, 2003. Lou, Michelle, Debbie Benfield, Ginger White, and Staci Wyland all made the trip to see the second largest railroad bridge in the country. Lou and Debbie, that day, walked to a lookout point to get a better view of the bridge. Lou commented,"The bridge was worth the trip."
On another occasion, July 5, 2003, they returned to the bridge to find buried treasure. Lou, Michelle, Staci, Ginger, and Mia Shelley were along.
A few weeks later, a tornado swept through the area, and knocked the bridge down with winds that reached over a hundred miles an hour. The tornado knocked over eleven of the twenty pillars that make up the bridge. The bridge had been under repair, and was deemed unsafe for a few months before the tragedy.
The LS Kids were crushed by the destruction of the bridge. "I'm mad," said Debbie, President. "That bridge was cool. I'm mad it blew down."
The LS Kids led an effort to reconstruct the bridge, writing letters to Governor Ed Rendell, Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Rick Santorum, State Representative John Peterson, and the Pennsylvania State Parks Department. They tried to persuade them to rebuild the bridge. Hilaire Reese drew a picture of the bridge to send with the letters. Renovo Bureau Member Meghan Wilson, DCS Bureau Member Gina Spence, and DCS Bureau Member Amber Fleming all joined in, e-mailing letters of their own.
"Why would you not want to rebuild the bridge?" asked Debbie. "I mean, come on now....It's my favorite place. It's so peaceful, and makes a really nice picture. Come on now, keep Pennsylvania beautiful."
"I feel that the Kinzua Bridge is a historical monument and should be treated as so," said Meghan Wilson.
On September fifteenth, Lou got a letter from the governor's office, indicating that the bridge would be rebuilt. On September twenty-first, the LS Kids went to Pizza Hut for a celebration dinner, and they were able to say they'd done it...."We saved the bridge."
The feelings of the Kids were best summed up by Gina Spence, of Florida. "Restore it, renew it, make it whole again," she said in her letter. "Don't just let it fall and be forgotten. It's worth more than that."
EXPLORING HIGHLAND CEMETERY
On Friday, October 10, 2003, the LS Kids, Lou, Michelle, Staci Wyland, Debbie Benfield, Krystle Welch, Cris Miller, and Ginger White, all went to a historical lantern tour of Highland Cemetery in Lock Haven. It was sponsored by the Woolrich Lions' Club. It was planned by the Highland Cemetery Association. The leaders of the tour were Bill Bouvier as the main tour guide, with Dave Wallace, Angela Black, and other members of the club in historical garb. The guides carried lanterns to show the way, and the historical sites were bathed in candlelight.
When they got to each site, there would be someone there to tell you who the person buried there was, or what it was about.
"It was worth the ninety minutes it took," said Krystle Welch. "On behalf of the LS Kids, we would like to say that they did an awesome job."
The Kids were lucky---They got fireworks that night, because it was homecoming night for the college football team. So the fireworks were lit at Jack Stadium, and from the cemetery at the top of the hill, the Kids got the best view.
Highland Cemetery has been in existence for over a hundred and forty years, and has over forty acres of land. Robert Mosko and his company have helped the Cemetery Association restore thirty stones at the lower end of the cemetery, and the LS Kids have been invited to help in the future.
Local philanthropist Philip M. Price gave twenty-five acres of land to the city to start the cemetery. Lots back then were sold for eight cents a foot. The first burial was a child, the son of Joseph Quiggle, in 1862. There are veterans buried there, as well, including one of the honor guards at President Lincoln's funeral, at the top of the hill in Soldiers' Circle.
All of the money earned by the tour will go to restoring the cemetery.
If you would like to learn more, go to the cemetery, in Lock Haven, PA, 17745. When you get to the top, it's a beautiful view.
It's October 18th, and I'm with Staci Wyland, Krystle Welch, Ginger White, Lou, and Michelle for the first time in a long time. On this trip, we're going to Walnutport and Slatington. Like always, we have to stop in Jim Thorpe on the way.
As planned, we wanted to leave at nin AM, and got out of Lock Haven around 9:30. After a few hugs (I haven't seen these guys in a while) we were off.
A few hours later, we got to our first destination, Walnutport. There was supposed to be a Heritage Day festival at the Walnutport Canal, which consisted of a band and some hotdogs for sale. Nothing at all exciting. So, we went to find fun. We went to a distributor where you drive into the building, and they bring sodas out and put them in your car. We bought two cases of A-Treat Cream Soda, a favorite of the Kids. To kill some time, we visited the Whitehall Mall. But we only stayed long enough to get ice cream.
After sight seeing, we went to Byler's Farm in Slatedale, where they were having their annual, month-long Pumpkin Festival. There were animals everywhere, as well as kids galore. Lou and I went down a big slide made mostly of hay bales, and then we met the guy who ran the whole farm. It was Lou's old high school friend, Jason Byler.
Jason told us about the hayrides out to the pumpkin patch. We all rode out to the patch on the wagon, and we got pumpkins. Krystle got the biggest one, at twenty-one and a half pounds.
"We accomplished a lot today," Lou said on the way home. "It didn't go the way we'd planned, but it was a good day anyway."
On October first, 2003, the LS Kids went to Triangle Park for a candlelight vigil against domestic violence. Lou, Michelle, Debbie Benfield, Staci Wyland, Krystle Welch, and Ginger White sat and listened to abuse victims tell stories of their lives.
People that work at the Women's Center also spoke.
The Kids looked at the line of T-shirts, one for every death by abuse in Clinton County. Then at the end, everyone blew out their candles and said a prayer.
It all started at six o'clock Halloween night 2003. The LS Kids stood waiting to be lined up in the Lock Haven Halloween parade.
They were all dressed up as TV and movie characters. Debbie Benfield was Jeannie, from "I Dream Of Jeannie". Krystle Welch was dressed as the big purple dinosaur, Barney. There were Dorothy and the Scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz, Vesta Jones and Tyler Martin.
There was Al Borland from "Home Improvement", Michelle. Oh, mustn't forget the Incredible Hulk, which, of course, was Lou. Also, there was Elvira, Mistress of the night, and Mi-Mi Bobeck from Drew Carrey, Cris Miller and Staci Wyland.
When the parade finally started, it was around seven PM. The LS Kids were walking behind a float. The costumes were made or bought by the Kids. Although they didn't win any prizes, Cris Miller said,"We all won by having loads of fun."
A CARD FOR JIMMY
MISSOURI- After reading Good News Magazine on October 5, an article caught our eye. It was about a three-year-old in Kansas City, Missouri, named Jimmy. He had been diagnosed with Angelman's Syndrome, a disease that delays a person mentally and physically.
After reading this story, we decided to send a card to Jimmy. Lou got the card at CVS, and we passed it around the table. After we all signed it, we sent it on it's way.
VESTA INTO NURSING
PENNSYLVANIA- On September 22nd, I started my second phase of growing up. I started a job that will be my first step toward my goal in life. I am a Nursing Assistant at a nursing home.
I had to attend classes for thirteen days of cramming to be qualified for this position. I took these classes through
HACC, a community college in Harrisburg. I had to go for thirteen days, eight hours straight, of cramming a four hundred page textbook in order to take another test on November tenth. If I pass the test, I will be certified, and can work in any health care facility.
I had ten days of orientation at my workplace, and yesterday was my first day on the floor without someone to watch me. I had the hardest chart on the floor, and I am not exaggerating. But I did awesome. I was finished with my chart before the girl that usually has that chart gets done.
Hopefully, I will be able to further my education to become an LPN or even an RN, but only time will tell.
FLORIDA- Regina Spence, LS Kids DCS Bureau and poet of the group, was in a car accident on Friday, October 10. She left the hospital on crutches, with few other injuries. Her car, a Mustang, was reported totalled.
"My knee went through the dash," Regina said. "I'm on crutches, but I'm okay."
Regina e-mailed the Kids and informed them of her accident that night, and told them she might not be online for a while. On Sunday, October 12, she called Lou to update him on the situation.
"I was glad Gina called," said Lou. "She's had my phone number for a while, but this is the first time she has ever called me to talk. That tells me how important this was to her."
The Lock Haven LS Kids all signed a card for Gina, and sent it to her.
Regina turned sixteen in September. She is best known among the Kids for her poetry, appearing monthly in the JJJ.
Well, here I am, almost two months of college down, and still, I am alive. So far, I've survived through monster exams (my Anatomy instructor likes to have a major exam every other week, literally), my nursing clinicals, and trying to study and do homework when the college kids who live below me are constantly partying with the music blasting. All in all, it isn't that bad. I love school, and I have a lot of support. And yes, I still have a smiley face card from Lou sitting on my desk.
So anyway, in this edition of "College Life" (my self-pronounced name) I would like to tell you all about my extra credit project for Anatomy and Physiology. We get five points of credit for dressing up like our favorite human cell, and ten additional points if we win Dr. Way's little contest.
Naturally, any of you who know me should already be forming thoughts of the human cell I'll dress up like. Well, all guesses done?....I'll be the male sperm. If that isn't bad enough, my roommate is coming as a female egg. Yes, we are destined to win. Try to picture it, me and my roommate, Janette, in full body costumes of the sperm and egg. What fun!
That is about all I have going on right now. So I'll update all of you when something new comes along.
I would just like to tell everyone that I have two months and five days until Christmas break as of today, October 7. A whole month with no school, and I can't wait!
BLONDE AT HEART
The Flaming Foliage Festival came to my hometown of Renovo the weekend of October 11 and 12. I went, because I always go. My main reason for going is the food.
My goal is always to start at one end of the festival, and work my way to the other. I planned to hit every food stand there, one at a time. I had something from every food stand---It's a dream of mine.
It worked out well, and I accomplished my goal. I still had a hot dog and some funnel cake to eat this morning.
RHYME AND REASON
The air was cold
of morning dew.
I walked onward,
Grey clouds aligned,
this hidden road.
and the burdened load.
But with every step,
of piece will disappear.
I will cry no more.
I shed no more tears.
before mine eyes.
I walk on,
hearing the old
screams and cries.
But for every mile
I let one go
their memory slips away
and I just smile.
They matter not
to me anymore
I could care less
I could care no more.
As I vanish down this road.
I hold the memories.
that were left untold.
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: The Episcopal Church, this month, ordained an openly gay man, living with a partner, as a priest. This shows amazing tolerance and respect, and deserves a little applause.
Deplore It: The Girl Scouts announced a change this month, instituting their new Studio 2B program. This gives girls the opportunity to choose what they are going to do for projects. While this may be a worthy idea, the girls interviewed for the news all claimed they were interested in doing their hair and hanging out at the mall. I suspect the Girl Scouts were more educational before the change.
Lisa Streck, Jersey Shore, passed away October 18, 2003. She was twenty-nine years old.
Lisa was a child care professional, having worked at three different day cares within the past few years. Surviving are a husband, Gary, and a mother, Marjorie Hackenberg.
Lisa had worked at CVS with Lou in 1998.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
Assistant: Staci Wyland
President: Debbie Benfield
Hard News VP: Marjorie Shelley
Features VP: Mia Shelley
Secretary: Krystle Welch
Quartermaster: Hilaire Reese
Staff: Cris Miller, Meghan Rockey, Nickole Vincent, Kendra Koch, Ginger White
Renovo Bureau: Sarah Wilson, Meghan Wilson
National Advisor: Vesta Jones
Distant Correspondents: Kazlynn Otto, Amber Fleming, Rachel Wykry, Regina Spence
Hadn't seen Vesta in a while. Which is too bad, and noticeable---I miss her being around. When she's not here, I always note her absence.
Vesta Jones was, essentially, the first LS Kid. I met Vesta at a French Fry stand in 1998. (If you haven't heard that story, go back and read old issues of the newsletter.) She impressed me then, and has ever since. I recruited her into the old group, and when we became the Lost Solace Kids, Vesta was the first one to come with me. "This is getting more and more interesting," she said at the time.
Vesta moved away in January of 2002, and it was heartbreaking. This was the Kid who had been with me the longest. She had gone from being "one of the Kids" to being the center of the group, my best and most trusted. She had always, faithfully, been with me. I'd known I was going to miss her.
What I didn't expect was that she'd continue participating. After she moved, she continued to communicate often by phone and e-mail. And when she got her driver's liscence, she came up here to attend projects and trips. All of which made the "goodbye issue" of the newsletter we'd run, back in January 2002, a little ridiculous---We gave her this big sendoff, and then she was still here. But the ideas expressed in that issue are still sincere, and honestly, I'm glad she's still around some.
Vesta came back twice this month---Once for the trip out to Lehigh County, and then again for the parade. (She looked cute as hell dressed as Dorothy, off to see the wizard.) She's still one of us. It's like she never left. Vesta and I, still having adventures together.
I thought about it while we were on the hayride at Byler's Farm. Vesta and I sat next to each other, and I looked over at her, laughing the way she always does, enjoying herself the way she always does. Right by my side---She's always done that, too.
She doesn't show up as much as she does when she lived here. But it's not awkward when she's here. She lives fifty miles away now, but Vesta is still as close to me as she ever was.
It's like the song---The one I heard on the radio on the way there.
"We're still having fun....And you're still the one."
-Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!