Bisonalities Again


A quarterly Newsletter dedicated to the Alumni of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools
January 2013------------------------------------------ Winter Issue ------------------------ Volume 14 - Number 2

Welcome to the Bisonalities, Again, a newsletter dedicated to the alumni (students, teachers, and administrators) of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools. This newsletter will be issued quarterly. New issues will be posted for viewing on the Web site on, or about January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

The Bisonalities, Again Web site may be viewed by going to:

The success of this newsletter will depend on you. I need contributors. Do you have an interesting article, a nostalgia item, a real life story, or a picture you would like to share with other alumni? Do you have a snail-mail or an e-mail address of one of your former classmates? If you do, please send it to me at the following e-mail address:
or at my snail-mail address:
Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062
Tel: (301) 535-9263
Fax: (301) 375-9250

Please, NO handwritten submissions.

The Bisonalities, Again Newsletter is available to any and all alumni, teachers, and administrators of Waterford or Fort LeBoeuf High Schools on the Web site, free.

If you know an alumnus, teacher, or administrator who would be interested, tell them about the Web site. None of the material in this newsletter has a copyright unless otherwise noted. If you wish to make copies of this newsletter and distribute it to other Alumni or friends, please feel free to do so.

If you are reading this newsletter on-line and would like a printable version of it, a PDF version is available on the web site. That is, a file that can be read and displayed by the FREE Adobe File Reader. This will allow you to print the newsletter exactly as if you had received it by snail-mail. If you would like a PDF copy of the newsletter, it is located on the Main Menu under "Past Issues Bisonalities Again."

Bob Catlin - Class of 1956

Cat's Corner

My God! Here it is winter already. It seems like only yesterday that I was getting the boat out and preparing for spring fishing. I have already put the boat and fishing gear back in moth balls (weekend after Thanksgiving).

Nancy and I are not going to spend the winter months in Florida this year. I loved it but Nancy did not, so we are only going to spend three weeks in Florida, after taking a cruise to the Bahamas.

Published in this issue is a story written by an old friend who passed away in June of 2010, Herb Walden. Herb wrote this story in 1999 and it was published in the Erie Times as a nostalgia article. He gave me permission to publish it in the Bisonalities Again, which I did several years ago.

The last two articles in this issue (What is identify theft? and Think before you donate.) were sent to me by two different guys I worked with at the Department of State.

The one-liners between stories were received from Marcia Shipley, FLBHS class of 1971 and are entitled, "Historical Trivia."

I know I keep harping about this, but I really wish to keep this Newsletter going and I cannot do it without your help. I need stories. Please, please, take time out of your busy lives to send me stories about your life before, during, and/or after high school. If your writing is not what you consider good enough for publication, do not worry, my wife is my editor. She taught English! If you read some of my stories before she edited them you would think I never went to school. PLEASE, help me keep this Newsletter going.

In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down
from the wall, was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else sat on the floor.
Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant
you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the
expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'
Wanda Owens Kelly WHS 1946
Sandra Harkless Johnson FLBHS 1969
James Daniels FLBHS 1969
Ed Orris Teacher/Coach  
Ron Oberland3er FLBHS 1962
Buck Barnett FLBHS 1962
Lewis Stone FLBHS 1972
Letters to the Editor

The following letter was received from Kim (Rudolph) Trott, FLBHS class of 1973:


Every time I get your requests for stories, I feel badly about it. I have very few memories of my childhood or teenage years, or even a few years ago! I wish I could remember things. I CAN tell you, though that my husband and I have three grown children who graduated from Fort LeBoeuf in the 2000's, and going back to the school for open houses, football, baseball, and basketball games was always enjoyable to me because it felt like home since it was my alma mater - the class of 1973.

One of the most amazing things to me was that Mr. Dan Hoffman was teaching when I was in school, and he was also our kids' teacher! He has since retired, but I always thought that was pretty cool.

Some friends and I climbed the water tower in town and painted "Hey, Jake!" (In honor of Mr. Russell, one of our favorite teachers) and "Class of '73" and I think we were even stupid enough to paint our initials on there, too. If any of our kids had done that I would have hit the roof! I'm not sure if my parents ever found out; my dad, Eugene Rudolph, was on the School Board and he would have had my hide!

I was one of the few kids who did NOT skip school on "Senior Skip Day" and I'm pretty sure our kids didn't skip, either. I think I told them it was more fun to go to school that day because the teachers didn't really teach us because they were just grateful there were a few kids in their seats. Of course, times have really changed. It's been discussed before, but it's so true that if you got in trouble in school and your parents found out about it, you got in WAY MORE trouble at home. Those days are gone. Now, parents are calling attorneys when they get a call from the principal.

I'm sorry that's all I can recollect... you can certainly use what I typed if you'd like. I'll try to spread the word to my former classmates and maybe they can come up with more stories.

You do a great job, Bob. Thank you!


p.s. I asked our youngest son (23) if he skipped on Senior Skip Day and he said he left after half a day because there was no one there!

The following letter was received from Verel Salmon, FLBHS Class of 1964:


A couple Civil War buffs and I traveled to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the bloody Battle of Antietam on September 17. We also stopped at Gettysburg where I had a chance to renew my ancient friendship with Paul Reichart. Paul retired from the newspaper business, his wife, Myra from communications work with PSEA. Both are docents at the Lincoln train station and at the Wills house (where Lincoln slept before delivering his famous speech). For Bison who have never been to Gettysburg or have not been there since the new Visitors Center/ Museum and Cyclorama opened, it is truly worth the visit (even if you are not a buff). Myra's talk at the Wills house is a must as well. Paul and Myra seem really happy with retirement!

I stopped to visit another Class of '64 grad, Ken Morrison, to bring him up to date on the Reichart's and other 64's I've run into lately.

Paul Steva doesn't seem to plan on retiring and recently assisted me in finding a location for Romney Headquarters here in Erie.

While Dennis Brogdon and I competed with but failed to reach the excellence level of Bob Love on trumpet in Mac McCubbin's FLB Band, Dennis and I sing in our church choir directed by FLB grad, Martha Brown Schrimper (Dennis still gets me in trouble with the Director!).

When leaving Perkins Restaurant I ran into a classmate who moved away from Waterford after elementary years, Larry Wetzel. First time I've seen Larry since he moved.

Isn't it great fun to reminisce? Here's to friendships which last a lifetime!

Two years to our 50th reunion - is that possible?

The following letter was received from Jaimee (Barton) Jones, daughter of Jim and Dorothy Barton:

Jim and Dorothy Barton

Jim and Dorothy Barton (nee Allen) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 18, 2012. The celebration was coordinated by Jim and Dot's six daughters and held in Cincinnati, Ohio. In attendance were many loved ones including: Ruth Ann & Joe Leech, Cheryl & Bob Kenst, Ted Barton Jr., Lloyd & Mary Lynn Barton, Barb Petrick & family, Ginger Patchen, Judy Nelson, Dolly Owens, Phillip Owens, their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and friends from church. Some traveled from as far away as Florida and Canada to attend the special event. Memories were shared through pictures, stories, and a video. A quartet Jim formerly directed at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Milford, Ohio attended and performed live for guests while they mingled. After a delicious baked chicken dinner, cake was served from the renowned Servatti's bakery of Cincinnati. It was a lovely evening to be had by all. Congratulations to Jim and Dot on fifty years of happily ever after!

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but
only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades...' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't
'playing with a full deck.'
Native of historic Waterford traces town's 'four corners'
The Late Herb Walden
FBHS Class of 1956

Having been born and raised in Waterford, I always think of the old town as being much larger than it actually is. That is, it seems Waterford extends way beyond the business district, the quiet tree-lined streets, and the borough boundaries. Things are different now than in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, following any of the four major roads out of town brought one various points of interest.

North -- High Street, the main highway running though Waterford, is U.S. Route 19 and Pennsylvania Route 97. About one mile north of town, the two routes split, forming a "Y" with both branches headed for Erie. Route 19 goes up and over the hills. Everyone always called it the "High Road." Route 97 keeps to the valleys, and therefore (you guessed it), it was known as the "Low Road." When I was a little boy, I thought the old song was about going to Erie, not Scotland. Near the "Y" on the High Road side was the fox farm. It was called "LeBoeuf Silver Foxes" and was owned and operated by Joe Edman. It was quite a large business before man-made furs came on the market. Lawrence Burdick also raised foxes, but his location was on Cherry Street, just beyond the water tank. That area was practically "out in the country" in the 1940s.

East -- Traveling east on East Third Street, the first place of interest, then and now, is the Waterford Cemetery. Cemeteries are fascinating places to visit - on a bright, sunny afternoon. At night, well, that's a little different. I've always been a little scared of the dark anyway. Nowadays, I know many, many more folks residing in the cemetery than I know living in town. Scores of my relatives are buried there, the oldest being my great-great-great grandparents. The original cemetery was located at the end of West Second Street. But due to construction or erosion, it was moved to the present location many years ago. The oldest part of the cemetery lies along East Street, although there are many very old markers throughout the grounds. The most celebrated gravesite is that of Michael Hare, who died in 1843 at the age of 115! He served during the French and Indian War and survived, the Revolutionary War and survived, and other Indian wars in which he was wounded, but survived. He taught school in Waterford before he died. Just shows you what a tough job teaching is! We always called East Third Street the "Depot Road," and for good reason: The Waterford Train Station was located at the railroad tracks about one mile from town. When the railroad came through in the 1800s, Waterford's town fathers would not allow it to pass through the borough. They didn't want the noise disturbing the serenity of the town. So the tracks were laid one mile east. At least, that's the story I was always told. After the railroad was up and running, a fair-sized community called East Waterford grew up around the station. It was mostly gone by the time I was around. Only Heard's Store and Coal Yard, the G.L.F. Feed Mill, and a few houses remained. The depot was there when I was a kid, but it is gone and so is the old Depot School, which was located between the railroad and Hood's Corner. It's too bad they couldn't have been saved.

South -- Just south of the town bridge and behind the present supermarket is the site of the Washington Sentinel. It was a very old and very large hemlock tree which, legend has it, George Washington climbed to get a view of Fort LeBoeuf. There is no mention of this in Washington's journal, but it makes a good story. Lightning had destroyed the top half of the hemlock by the time I was around. Now the tree is gone altogether. A little farther south brings us to "The Y" where Routes 97 and 19 split, with 97 going to Union City and 19 to Hughes corners and Cambridge Springs and beyond. When anyone spoke of "The Y", it was understood that this southern split was the one being referred to, not the northern one. Right at "The Y," a replica of the Fort LeBoeuf blockhouse served as a gas station. It was moved down Route 97 to its present location many years ago. Before my time, there was a small zoo at "The Y." When I was a little kid, all that was left was a cage with some raccoons in it. Stanley Boarts had his auto repair garage at "The Y" for many years. Just south of "The Y" on Route 19 is Lake LeBoeuf and its outlet, LeBoeuf Creek. The old roller-skating rink, which burned several years ago, and the Showboat, a dance hall/night club, stood along the lake shore.

West -- About a mile west of town on West Third Street were the pump houses that supplied Waterford with water. I came to know those two pump houses very well. Between grocery stores, Dad worked for the water company in the late 1940s. It might be better to say that Dad was the water company. He was the only full-time employee, and to him fell the jobs of running the pumps, repairing water mains, installing new water lines, reading meters, and collecting water bills. I was only around 12, but I helped as much as I could. There were times when Dad would be busy on some emergency repair, and Mom would take me down to the pump house to take care of the pumps. That meant shutting the pump down, re-filling the chlorine tanks, checking a dozen or so things to make sure they were working properly, and then starting up the pump again. It was quite a job, and I felt very important in doing it. I also helped in typing the monthly water bills, and Mom helped in collecting them at the water company office (next to the old Civil War recruiting station). It was a family affair. I went meter-reading with Dad a couple of times. Therefore, I have the distinction of being one of the few people who has been in almost every basement in pre-1950 Waterford.

So ends the tour of the perimeter of old Waterford. I've had a number of people around here say, "Since you write and talk so much about Waterford, why don't you move back there?" Some have even said it in a kindly way. I would if I could, but I can't. The Waterford I knew isn't there anymore. Many years ago, author Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You can't go home again." You know, he was right! At least for me that is true!

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper
and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace.
What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a serious crime. It can disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation, and take time, money, and patience to resolve. Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission.

Identity thieves might:

• Go through trash cans and dumpsters, stealing bills and documents that have sensitive information.
• Work for businesses, medical offices, or government agencies, and steal personal information on the job.
• Misuse the name of a legitimate business, and call or send emails that trick you into revealing personal information.
• Pretend to offer a job, a loan, or an apartment, and ask you to send personal information to "qualify."
• Steal your wallet, purse, backpack, or mail, and remove your credit cards, driver's license, passport, health insurance card, and other items that show personal information.

How to Protect Your Information

• Read your credit reports. You have a right to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order all three reports at once, or order one report every four months. To order, go to or call 1-877-322-8228.
• Read your bank, credit card, and account statements, and the explanation of medical benefits from your health plan. If a statement has mistakes or doesn't come on time, contact the business.
• Shred all documents that show personal, financial, and medical information before you throw them away.
• Don't respond to email, text, and phone messages that ask for personal information. Legitimate companies don't ask for information this way. Delete the messages.
• Create passwords that mix letters, numbers, and special characters. Don't use the same password for more than one account.
• If you shop or bank online, use websites that protect your financial information with encryption. An encrypted site has “https” at the beginning of the web address; "s" is for secure.
• If you use a public wireless network, don't send information to any website that isn't fully encrypted.
• Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall on your computer.
• Set your computer's operating system, web browser, and security system to update automatically.

If Your Identity is Stolen ... Flag Your Credit Reports.

Call one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, and ask for a fraud alert on your credit report. The company you call must contact the other two so they can put fraud alerts on your files. An initial fraud alert is good for 90 days.

Equifax 1-800-525-6285
Experian 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

Order Your Credit Reports
Each company's credit report about you is slightly different, so order a report from each company. When you order, you must answer some questions to prove your identity. Read your reports carefully to see if the information is correct. If you see mistakes or signs of fraud, contact the credit reporting company.

Create an Identity Theft Report
An Identity Theft Report can help you get fraudulent information removed from your credit report, stop a company from collecting debts caused by identity theft, and get information about accounts a thief opened in your name. To create an Identity Theft Report:

• File a complaint with the FTC at or 1-877-438-4338; TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Your completed complaint is called an FTC Affidavit.
• Take your FTC Affidavit to your local police, or to the police where the theft occurred, and file a police report. Get a copy of the police report.
The two documents comprise an Identity Theft Report.

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars
by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions.
When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face
she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term
'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt. Therefore, the
expression 'losing face.'
Memories of winter
By Karen Boggs Ziegler, FLBHS class of 1967

With winter approaching us once again, I can't help but remember some of the bad storms that happened when my brother and I were young. Growing up on a dirt road a few miles west of Waterford, and at the time being the last house on that road, added a particular drama to the situation. I can recall several times when the bus never made it as far as my Aunt Mabel's house, and we ended up with our own personal snow day.

Of all the storms that happened during those years, (1955-1967 or so), one in particular stands out. I was probably in first or second grade, so my memory is a bit foggy. I don't recall exactly when it happened, but I remember the kindness of a couple of teachers that day.

We were in school when a blizzard blew in. The highways and roads were filling in rapidly with snow. The school's first priority was to get the students home as safely as possible. There was a scramble of phone calls and arrangements quickly made. Mrs. Black (a third grade teacher) and Mrs. Gray (the handwriting teacher) didn't live too far from us. Kenny Black picked us up at the school and drove us out Old State Road to Swailes Road. Mrs. Gray and I walked to her house at the corner of Sedgwick and Swailes Road. When we got to her house, she called my Mom and fed me cookies and hot chocolate while we waited. She lived about a mile from our place, so it was quite a walk in the snow for my Mom. I followed her home by stepping in her footprints. We stopped at Aunt Mabel's house to get warmed up and collect my brother, and walked up the hill to our house. I remember being really happy to finally get home.

I never had Mrs. Black as a teacher, but I did have Mrs. Gray in third grade handwriting class. I have fond memories of my school days, but the winter storms---not so much. We got through them some how, and it seems like there were more of them back then than there are now.

Winter will never be my favorite season, but the people who were there for us when we needed them will live on in my memories of days gone by.

See you all next issue!

I need Stories!
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