Opinion

Carole Christman Koch: President’s Inauguration firsts, traditions, and more: Part 2 |Jan 22, 2017

Part 2 Franklin Pierce, in 1853, accepted his presidency, but was still in mourning. Just a few months prior to the ceremony, the Pierces lost their 3rd and last child in a railroad accident, that both witnessed.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Tension |Jan 20, 2017

Sometimes, the simplest things in life create tension in you. A few days after Christmas I took our car to be serviced at a dealership. On the way, I passed close to the store that sells my favorite donuts.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Dear Diary - 2016 |Dec 31, 2016

It would have been great if someone had engrained in me as a child to keep a diary during my life. No, I wouldn’t have to be a huge success to make it interesting. If nothing else, it might have been something I could leave to my kids in case at a certain point in time they wondered about my thoughts, where I lived, what was involved in my work, my interests, my successes and my failures.

Think About It: Farewell, Dear Friends, Farewell |Dec 31, 2016

“Goodbyes are not forever; goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, until we meet again.” — Anonymous

A Look Back: How PA Dutch Are You: Did you eat your good luck pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day? |Dec 31, 2016

This folk practice still creates a yearning, especially among our older folk people and those still appreciative of our heritage and a good, hot Pennsylvania Dutch meal. Many Dutch families over the generations and years never forget this dish on New Year’s Day and eagerly partake in the consumption of pork and sauerkraut.

Think about it: Becoming a full-time member of AARP |Dec 28, 2016

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” — Ann Landers

person to person — impact: Better Than MREs* |Dec 26, 2016

Over ten years ago, Barb and I, along with several others from our church, started a program we called Operation Encouragement. The objective of the program was to pray for, communicate with and send care packages to the men and women serving in our Armed Services.

A look back at history : New Year, New Ideas, New Horizons in the PA Dutch Culture |Dec 26, 2016

Plain groups as the Old Order Mennonites and Amish continue to prosper in our area and expand, protecting our rich and vast farmland. Nearby Plain Brethren, once called “Dunkards,” the sect that founded Pricetown in the Oley Hills, still maintain their 18th Century Brethren Meeting House off the modern Pricetown Road.

Think about it: Moving from One Season to Another |Dec 19, 2016

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.” — C.S. Lewis

Look Back at History: Old tin-stamped cookies at Christmastime a Pennsylvania Dutch Tradition & treat |Dec 19, 2016

Hormon Foose, a creative tinsmith from Fleetwood, was one of those craftsmen that demonstrated his artistic abilities at the Kutztown Folk Festival and made tin cut-out cookie cutters which were collected by many families.

person to person — impact: There’s no business like snow business! |Dec 19, 2016

No, there is no mistake in the title of this column. I slightly modified the 1954 movie musical “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. During this Christmas season when many (especially the kids) have the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” on their minds, I thought I would take this column to prepare for Christmas and in doing so also talk about Christmas, snow, and the above Irving Berlin musical, staring: Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O’Connor and others.

A Look Back in History: From Native Clay to Beautiful Roof tile Adorning our Most Primitive Homes |Nov 30, 2016

In the Colonial years, when handmade brick was scarce, the availability of native clay also afforded Valley pioneers to build attractive brick chimneys with courses of brick corbelling. The result: the entire Oley Township being honored as a National Historic District by the United States Department of the Interior, for its heritage.

person to person — impact: Common, yes, but a treasure still |Nov 30, 2016

It’s amazing how by happenstance you can be taught a lesson! Barb was walking on the sidewalk from our driveway to our front porch. She thought she saw a leaf on the sidewalk and was about to crunch it as she walked, when she focused more closely on the object.

Think about it: The Literary Craftsmanship of Rudyard Kipling |Nov 30, 2016

“After you have read Kipling fifty or seventy-five best stories you realize that few men have written this many stories of this much merit, and that very few have written more or better stories.

A Look Back in History: 19th Century cane carvers of the PA Dutch Country |Nov 23, 2016

Locally, the most popular cane carver, “Schtockschnitzler Simmons” (1885-1910) from the Kutztown, Moselem, Hamburg area was a late German born immigrant who bartered his carved bird handle canes from farm to farm or tavern to tavern.

Think about it: The Sponge Capital of the World |Nov 23, 2016

“Do you ever wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.” — Stephen Hawking

JEFF EDELSTEIN: The 15 people you’ll meet at Thanksgiving this year discussing Donald Trump |Nov 23, 2016

There may be five people you meet in heaven, but there will be 15 people you meet at Thanksgiving Hell 2016.

person to person — impact: In His Time |Nov 23, 2016

The main speaker in my column of November 8th, “Precious In His Sight: Bill Montgomery” (http://www.berksmontnews.com/opinion/20161103/person-to-person-precious-in-his-sight-bill-montgomery), which talked about the home going of Bill Montgomery, indicated his death was no accident.

In our helter-skelter lives, Thanksgiving dinner with the family is good for the spirit as well as the belly |Nov 21, 2016

Many of us, myself included, seldom are fully engaged in a given moment because we’re always in a hurry to move on to something else. Consequently, we skim along the surface of life. We exist in the topsoil of life and never seem to have the time to get to the root of the matter.

Think about it: Leading with creative style |Nov 16, 2016

“If you want to build a high performance organization, you’ve got to play chess, not checkers.” — Mark Miller

person to person — impact: Voted Most Utilitarian |Nov 11, 2016

I am on probation! I’ve been told that more and more copies of the Tri County Record are being sent back to the printer. I have no idea why, except that my boss has pinpointed my articles as the culprit.

A Look Back in History: Helping the community with PA Dutch cuisine |Nov 7, 2016

With a number of the senior citizen cooks who have backed our local fire company kitchens retiring from civic organizations, we can only hope they have past their recipes down to their daughters and other kin.

Person to Person: Precious In His Sight — Bill Montgomery |Nov 3, 2016

In September I wrote two articles about the life of Bill Montgomery entitled “Treasurers Among Us”. In October, Barb and I attended Bill’s memorial service. After sweet memories and songs presented by members of Bill’s family and friends, an extraordinary talk was given by one of his friends.

OPINION: Texting drivers and slow drivers should be punished as harshly as drunk drivers |Nov 3, 2016

We all encounter those foolish folks who combine driving and texting with the multitasking skills of a dairy cow. Their distracted driving is shakier than the lead singer in a rumba band.

Think about it: Stephen R. Covey and his Seven Habits |Nov 3, 2016

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” ­— Stephen R. Covey

Think about it: The Phenomenon of the Ring |Nov 2, 2016

“Of all the passions, the passion of the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.” — C.S. Lewis

person to person — impact A Big Thanks to All Veterans |Oct 31, 2016

Dear Reader: Although this article concentrates on the war in Vietnam and the troops that served during that era, I am using those troops as an example because this is the period in which I served (albeit my service was easy during this time, as I have mentioned previously).

|Oct 27, 2016

Kampf will fight for us in Harribsurg

welcome to my world: Pennsylvania’s ‘Greene Country’ |Oct 26, 2016

“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer “I think that I shall never see

Think about it: The cut flower culture |Oct 26, 2016

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”— Peter Drucker

The Historian: More about cabbage |Oct 26, 2016

It’s safe to say that in bygone years everyone who had a little ground cultivated a vegetable garden. Not only country folk, but many town dwellers had a fenced back yard garden, often a chicken pen, and maybe even a pig or two.

Person to Person — Impact: Many tricks ... Few treats |Oct 20, 2016

I have a reoccurring nightmare! The year was 1954 and my parents, my siblings and I were about to arrive in the small borough where we kids would see our new home for the first time. As we turned off the commercial highway in the spring, we were greeted by nice houses lining avenues and places, many of which were named after colleges.

A Look Back in History: The Warmth and Charm in Georgian Architecture |Oct 20, 2016

In a very attractive Georgian mansion, the stone mason will not just simply lay up the stone helter-skelter, but select large stones for the corners known as quoins. The 1808 Spang, 1805 Hunter, and 1815 Reiff mansions of the Oley Valley have fine quoins in their corners that make the structures imposing, as many others.

A Look Back in History: Interesting Folk Days rooted in Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers (pun intended) |Oct 18, 2016

Pennsylvania Dutch rural folklore was important in providing Rhineland peasants with knowledge of becoming successful American farmers. Although most PA Deitsch folklore revolved around their religion, it is dubious that Grundsau Day (Groundhog Day) was purely an American idea.

Welcome to my World: Grave Epitaphs |Oct 18, 2016

Every summer that I can remember as a kid, Mom insisted Pop drive to visit the gravesites of both the Christman’s, in Lehigh County, and the Kohler’s, in Berks County. Mom also took us on walks to the family cemetery of the Siegfried’s, from Siegfriedsdale, located near our farm.

person to person — impact: Treasures Among Us (Part 2 of 2) |Oct 11, 2016

Last week I shared with you about meeting Bill and Marge Montgomery in church, his early years in committing his live to Jesus Christ, his music accomplishments and attending the Navy Music School. The following is additional information I learned about Bill during our conversations.

ARTHUR GARRISON: Is Donald Trump the next Barry Goldwater? |Sep 30, 2016

In America, elections have consequences because they are seldom without significant political debate. This is all the more true at the presidential level. While all such elections have been significant, some have been pivotal.

A Look Back in History: The Americanism ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’ still preferred today |Sep 28, 2016

Since Colonial times our ancestors were referred to as the Americanism, “PA Dutch,” a term widely used to describe these immigrants by suburban Philadelphians, who followed the local Quaker-American colloquialism, as people today.

The Stanford Marshmellow Experiment |Sep 28, 2016

“Every choice we make is an investment in a future we cannot see.” — Alicia Britt Chole

Reflections on the Olympics: The Statue |Sep 14, 2016

“Even if you are not religious, how can you look at Christ the Redeemer and not be impressed.” — Anonymous

THINK ABOUT IT: Reflections on the Olympics: The competition |Aug 25, 2016

“The hard days are the best because that’s where champions are made.”

THINK ABOUT IT: Some humorous thoughts about writing |Aug 18, 2016

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

Eat the frog |Aug 11, 2016

“If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.”

Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori: Decorating with family heirlooms |Aug 3, 2016

There is an overwhelming abundance of home makeover TV shows and online blogs about redecorating, redesigning and reconsidering the objects with which we live. Antiques and family heirlooms are front and center when it comes to innovative design.

Think About It - The beginning and end of a story: Part II |Aug 3, 2016

“Life is an open book full of blank pages. You write the story as you go.” - Anonymous

Think About It - The beginning and end of a story: Part I |Jul 27, 2016

“Great literature is one of two stories: A man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” - Leo Tolstoy

Think About It: The life-changing magic of tidying up |Jul 20, 2016

“Life truly begins after you put your house in order.” - Marie Kondo

THE TABLE: Chile, South America |Jul 14, 2016

The country of Chile that is located on the Pacific Ocean’s western coast of South America is often pronounced as Chilly (like the weather), but to be correct, it is pronounced “Chil-ay.

Think About It: What is the Secret Sauce? |Jul 13, 2016

“Every time you share an overused platitude on Facebook, an angel loses its wings.” - Anonymous

Think About It: My final day as president |Jul 6, 2016

“Memory is the mother of wisdom.” - Aeschylus