Friday, May 27, 2011


(May 27, 2011) Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day, a federal holiday that honors American service members. It is observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. citizens who died while in military service. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end.

Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not.

Some towns will have patriotic events, including parades and programs, in observance of Memorial Day. Check out Recorder Community Newspapers online for details. While there read some of the 60-plus blogs which may feature reflections on Memorial Day.

Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers may call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail Blogging is a free 21st century mode of Internet communication. All you need is an e-mail and connection to the World Wide Web.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Four chances to meet Saloma

(May 20, 2011) My friend, author Saloma Miller Furlong, will be in town this coming week for four book signings. She will discuss her memoir, "Why I Left the Amish," which debuted in January, at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at Whippanong Library in Whippany, at 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, at Chester Township Public Library in Chester, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at Warren Township Library in Warren, and at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at Caldwell Public Library in Caldwell.

The book already has garnered national attention. Saloma and her husband, David, have been interviewed for PBS-TV's "American Experience" for a show to air next spring and by NPR-Radio for a new program to launch this year. PBS film crews recently spent 12 hours at their home in Sunderland, Mass.

Saloma tells the story of her early years growing up in a dysfunctional Amish family in Burton, Ohio. Her intellectual curiosity and longing for a more settled life led her to clandestinely leave her Amish community and go to Vermont, a place she had admired in magazine pictures. I had met Saloma during a visit to my native state of Ohio so my New Jersey home turned out to be one of the pit stops on her journey some 30 years ago.

In Vermont, she met David, they eventually married, moved to Massachusetts and now have two grown sons.

Despite only an eighth-grade education as mandated by the Amish, Saloma went on to graduate with honors from Smith College and garner a respectable position at Amherst College. Now she and David are concentrating on writing the second book in the series of three planned volumes. Following the first book's moving tale of her leaving the Amish, it will tell their love story in New England.

Read more about Saloma in Recorder Community Newspapers this week in the Echoes-Sentinel, Hanover Eagle and The Progress and at her website Copies of her book, "Why I Left the Amish," will be available at the library book signings.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, the 13th

Today is Friday, May 13, which many consider an unlucky day. Superstition holds Friday the 13th to be a day of bad luck. In the Gregorian calendar, this day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year. Any month's 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday.

Actually, today was somewhat unlucky in that was unavailable for most of the day due to an unknown glitch which rarely happens. So, many bloggers were unable to post items. But luckily, now all is well and is back on track.

You can read posts from the more than 60 bloggers who communicate right here at Recorder Community Newspapers' websites. Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail This 21st century communication tool is free and simple to use. All you need is a computer and an e-mail address.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

The second Sunday in May, this year May 8, is Mother's Day. Happy day to all mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law and others who serve as mothers. Enjoy your day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May Day

Today, May 1, is observed in different ways around the globe. For many it’s a holiday dedicated to laborers.

May Day has origins dating back thousands of years to when the Romans paid tribute to Flora, the goddess of flowers. Other lore ties it to the Walpurgis Night, a celebration in parts of Europe of St. Walpurga. In other parts of Europe, May Day signifies crowning a girl the May Queen; she then begins the May 1 celebrations, which include dancing around a maypole. In different parts of the world, aspects of paganism are heavily rooted in May Day festivities and tradition.

Around these parts, May Day doesn’t get the attention holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween receive. Traditionally it's the first day of planting season here. Also, Law Day is celebrated on May 1 in the United States. Coined in 1958 by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Law Day was started to recognize and remember the importance of written rule in our country’s founding and its role in maintaining order.

Tidbits like this and more can be found in Recorder Community Newspapers and in their blogs online here at their websites.

Community groups and individuals interested in joining the 60-plus Recorder bloggers here are invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail for details on this 21st century communication tool.