In today's sixth column, I am in Darktown, a hamlet along the Lehigh River, speaking to resident Mike Bednar, a well-known railroad authority, on the family's plight during the Great Depression. His grandfather's passing left the family of nine facing difficult economic times.
"My grandmother worked at the General Cigar factory," Mike remembers. "My aunts and uncles worked at the jute mill. My father, Joseph, was with the Civilian Conservation Corp. He was up in Home, Pa., near Jimmy Stewart Country, Indiana, Pa.
Horse racing is coming to Coplay.
Night at the Races will be held Saturday, March 23, at the American Club of Coplay Pavilion. The evening, sponsored by Ayden's Crew for a Cure, begins with a buffet. The menu includes a tossed salad, sliced marinated roast beef tenderloin, oven roasted rosemary chicken, parsley red roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, green beans almandine, fresh buttered corn and beverages.
Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Following dinner will be 10 races, a hat contest and other events.
Members of the Northampton Area High School Drama Club will present a family storytime, in costume, with stories and songs from their spring musical "Seussical the Musical."
Children of all ages and their families are welcome for the event 6 p.m. Thursday, March 28. Register by stopping by the library, 1615 Laubach Ave., or calling 610-262-7537.
The Northampton Area Public Library will participate in Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child 2013, a collaborative project highlighting the importance of early literacy development in preschoolers.
The annual spring basket social at St. Nicholas Church, Berlinsville, will be held Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Winners are notified by phone Sunday afternoon.
There will be a bake sale, the kitchen will be open and nut rolls will be available for purchase.
The event is held in the social hall of St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 4412 Mountain View Drive, Walnutport, on Route 946.
For more information, call 610-767-3107 or 610-767-9892.
St. Mary's Church, 122 Union St., will hold one more Lenten Fish Dinner Friday, March 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall.
The menu will include fried and breaded Icelandic Haddock, corn, coleslaw, stewed tomatoes, roll, pudding, beverage and a choice of baked potato, macaroni and cheese or cabbage and noodles. An additional piece of fish or side orders may be added to your platter for an additional cost.
Tickets are available at the door.
For more information, call 610-264-0332 during office hours, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Christ United Church of Christ, Little Moore, 913 S. Mink Road, Danielsville, has the following events scheduled:
· Spring bazaar – Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring crafts, homemade Easter candy and white elephant items. The kitchen will be open.
· Used clothing drive – Sunday, March 24.
· Ham and dandelion dinner – Saturday, April 13, served country style 3:30-6 p.m. No tickets will be sold at the door. For tickets, call Brenda Eckhart by March 31 at 610-837-0680.
St. John's United Church of Christ, Howertown, will hold a Holiday Happenings fundraiser Sunday, March 17, at the church, located at 22 Atlas Road.
The event is sponsored by the senior choir. Vernell Hawkins, the church's organist, is the Holiday Happenings coordinator.
Groups of church members are asked to sponsor and decorate one of the 12 monthly tables – for example, January's table has a New Year's Eve theme and February's table will be decorated for Valentine's Day. There are no decorating rules, and the themes change from year to year.
Mr. John Farkas was reared in Northampton, graduating from Northampton High School in 1973.
While in high school, John was active with the First Ward Fire Company and Northampton Ambulance Corp., where his aunt Doris Daumer was a charter member.
His first job was at Northampton Auto where he worked with current Northampton Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski.
John was later employed as a Northampton police dispatcher. His duties also required him to drive a borough fire truck. The salary was $7,200 annually.
The Northampton Liederkranz, 402 E. Ninth St., will host a St. Patty's Day celebration tomorrow, Friday, March 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The band Prugal will entertain from 8 to 11 p.m.
The event is for members and member guests.
A breakfast will be held Sunday, March 17, 8 a.m.-noon, at the club.
There is a cost for both events.
Assumption of the Virgin Mary church, 1301 Newport Ave., is taking orders for Easter nut rolls until March 17.
Selections include nut, poppy seed, apricot, lekvar and raspberry.
When a business shuts down in Coplay, it's more noticeable than in larger retail centers.
Four empty commercial buildings are located in the borough. Two are on North Second and two are on Chestnut Street.
One of the Chestnut Street buildings is owned by the same person who owns the former J&R Market. This building has been refurbished and parking spaces are marked in the lot. The word is it could become a convenience store.