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Articles written by Joseph Walk


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  • Newcomers to the Cove: Time for a New Cove

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Apr 27, 2023

    The title of this article must be a bit confusing. How can we simultaneously be newcomers and yet be saying goodbye? Well, even though we have only lived in Morrisons Cove for the last three years, it’s time to bid adieu. Our health is changing as we grow older. Circumstances are such that we are not as physically robust as we’d like. It’s time for us to enjoy more of life and less of the demands of home ownership. We are moving to a retirement community in another county. This is a decision we have not taken lightly. Prayerful consi...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: It's Too Quiet

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Feb 23, 2023

    Indeed, it’s way too quiet at our house. Let me explain. One of our daughters, Bethany, lives and works in Germany. She married a fine German man, Jörn, and they have a very active son, Ezra. Ezra, by the way, is two and a half years old. Do you see where this is heading? In October, Bethany and her family announced they will be visiting us for Christmas this year. Nancy and I thought that was a great idea! After all, 2017 was the last year Bethany had been to Pennsylvania. They had it all planned, including wisely bracketing their flights we...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: January

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Jan 26, 2023

    In 1872, the English poet Christina Rossetti published a famous poem which begins: “In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.” Gustav Holst later set her poem to music and most folks would still recognize his lyrical tune today. His song came to mind recently as I pondered what January is like in the Cove. I think Rossetti’s poem sums up January pretty well. January is not only the coldest but also the windiest month...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Christmas at Grandpap's Farm

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Dec 22, 2022

    When I was growing up, at Christmas our family would travel to Grandpap’s farm along Bloomfield Road. This soirée was always the Sunday before Christmas Day. It seemed to me that in addition to celebrating the Nativity, another purpose was a family reunion. It was a time to catch up. Aunts and uncles reminisced. The winter of 1936 was a common topic of discussion. Why was it always colder and snowier in the “good old days?” It was a one-hour drive, as I-99 didn’t exist, so this was the one Sunday we skipped church to arrive on time. Dad’s 19...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Thanks and Giving

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Nov 23, 2022

    Thanksgiving. I prefer “thanks and giving.” It’s the time of year when we celebrate God’s provision as we enjoy a sumptuous feast of turkey with all the traditional trimmings and perhaps a football game. It is appropriate to be grateful. We should give thanks. (By the way, have you noticed the Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving Day?) This should be the “give back” season as well as the “give thanks” season. When one gives, one also receives. As a nation and as a Cove community, we are blessed. The Pilgrims survived the harsh winter of...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Schools

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Oct 27, 2022

    Nancy and I went camping several weeks ago at Black Moshannon State Park in northern Centre County. Several small villages thrived there from the early nineteenth century until the timber supply ran out. The Black Moshannon Creek was no longer needed to transport timber from the splash dam downstream to the mighty Susquehanna then to Williamsport where large lumber mills dominated the town. Two (now extinct) villages in the state park, Antes and Beaver Mills, shared a general store, a wagon...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Claysburg

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Sep 29, 2022

    A few months ago I wrote a series about how towns in Morrisons Cove got their names. Claysburg, although not located in the Cove per se, is a neighboring community and a de facto member of our neighborhood. This is apparent as one reads our newspaper. For example, the Herald prints news about four school districts: Williamsburg, Central, Northern Bedford, and Claysburg-Kimmel. So, as a newcomer, I became curious about the town on the “other side” of Dunnings Mountain. The most common way to drive to Claysburg from our home is over Dunnings Mou...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Our Newest Citizen

    Joseph Walk, For the Herald|Aug 25, 2022

    Nancy and I have recently closed a unique chapter in our new life in the Cove. Our church hosts an ESL (English as a second language) program. As part of that initiative, for the past nine months we have been helping a young lady become a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. If you want to learn great lessons in civics, government, history, (or you simply have the urge to complete mounds of paperwork) just help someone become a citizen. It was a personally rewarding experience;...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: August

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Jul 28, 2022

    After two years living in Morrisons Cove, I’ve decided August is my favorite month. There is so much to like about August. I find the weather to be pleasant with less rain than in May through July, on average. Warm temperatures at the start of the month give way to somewhat cooler temperatures near the end. The latter part of August also points us to the unofficial end of summer as Labor Day approaches. The “dog days” of summer are generally thought to occur in August. These hot and often humid days suggest to us to slow down and kick back....

  • Newcomers to the Cove: The Pledge

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Jun 23, 2022

    Mark Twain is credited with writing, “Patriotism is supporting your country all of the time and your government when it deserves it.” There is some logic in that statement. Mark Twain knew the foibles of government, but he was also a patriotic soul. As newcomers to Morrisons Cove, we see an obvious sign of a patriotic population: Old Glory flies proudly over businesses and individual homes. With July 4 celebrations coming, perhaps a review of our Pledge of Alliance to that grand old flag would be worthwhile. It’s been a while since we’ve...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: When Are We No Longer the "New People?"

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|May 26, 2022

    As newcomers to the area, it occurs to us that we are still, well, “new folks.” So when do newcomers become legitimate members of the Cove? When are we no longer the new guys? These questions may seem rhetorical but I believe they have merit. Yet I understand why this is so, due largely to the pandemic. It has been difficult getting involved in the community. People are social beings and it is important to feel part of the community. Finding that connection for us has been slow. We wanted to live in Morrisons Cove for the rural lifestyle, the...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: And More Cove Names

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Apr 28, 2022

    This is the third and final article about names in the Cove written from a newcomer’s perspective. It was fun figuring out why places in the Cove were so named. Rodman is located in Taylor Township between Roaring Spring and McKee. Two iron furnaces were built, one in 1862 and the other in 1872, by Knapp and Company. In 1873, there was a financial panic and subsequent depression which forced operations at both furnaces to cease. The Blair Iron and Coal Company leased the furnaces in 1877 but in 1885 the furnaces were shut down and dismantled s...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: More Cove Names

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Mar 24, 2022

    As promised, here is a continuation of some geographic names in the Cove. As newcomers, it is always interesting to learn how local towns and other geographical areas were named. Much of the information I gleaned was from the excellent booklet, Historical Summary of Southern Morrisons Cove Towns by David M. Adams along with other verifying sources. I perused old maps to find some of these places and soon realized that, prior to about 1900, roads were few and railroad lines and spurs were abundant. These lines went to places that often had...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Cove Names

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Mar 3, 2022

    Editor’s Note: This column was published in the Feb. 24 edition of the Herald. The version published was incomplete due to a filing error. Nancy and I camped at Shawnee State Park one week last fall and chatted with “neighbor” campers about the local area. The conversation turned to Everett because one of the campers was from there. I asked how the town got its name. The resident didn’t know. In fact, she didn’t know it was once called Bloody Run, after a battle between Native Americans and early settlers. We had a second, similar conversat...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Cove Names

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Feb 24, 2022

    Nancy and I camped at Shawnee State Park one week this fall and chatted with “neighbor” campers about the local area. The conversation turned to Everett because one of the campers was from there. I asked how the town got its name. The resident didn’t know. In fact, she didn’t know it was once called Bloody Run, after a battle between Native Americans and early settlers. We had a second, similar conversation with another Everett resident on another occasion. Again, he didn’t know that the name changed from Bloody Run to Everett. So I began thi...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Apple Butter

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Jan 27, 2022

    Covites love to eat apple butter. Even a newcomer like me can be obsessed about apple butter. It’s a veritable staple of my diet. In September our family convened to create sweet, delicious apple butter the old fashioned way – a wood fire, a 40-gallon cauldron, applesauce, lots and lots of sugar, cinnamon, and many cousins, nephews, in-laws, and friends to stir the concoction. We made this annual batch of umber nectar at my brother’s home in Taylor Township. It’s an autumn tradition that go...

  • Newcomers to the Cove: Harvest Time

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Dec 23, 2021

    Corn. Sweet corn! How Nancy and I love to eat corn on the cob grown here in the Cove! From July until early October, we enjoy delicious kernels of sweet goodness. We buy from several local establishments, trying to determine which we like best – yellow, white, or bicolor. Last fall Nancy and I watched with fascination as local farmers used giant machines to harvest cornfields near our home. The driver of the John Deere corn harvester methodically completed many rows at a time. As the machine went to and fro, trucks drove alongside collecting t...

  • Buggies in the Cove

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Nov 24, 2021

    As new Covites, Nancy and I regularly observe things that were uncommon at our previous dwelling locations. For example, we see the ubiquitous horse-drawn black buggy and plain people wearing simple yet consistent clothing. In late summer we traveled to Kishacoquillas Valley (known locally as either Kish Valley or Big Valley) where PA Route 655 runs from Mill Creek to Reedsville. We were amazed at the number of buggies on that highway. There were buggies with black tops, yellow tops, and white tops, apparently identifying with particular Amish...

  • Veterans Day in the Cove

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Oct 28, 2021

    As I was scanning the “Club News” section in a recent Shoppers Guide, I noticed the Bedford County Veterans Association was meeting to discuss the Veterans Day parade. In the Sept. 16 Morrisons Cove Herald, there was an article entitled “Cove Veterans Wrapped in Quilts of Valor.” Veterans Day is two weeks away. As a newcomer to the Cove, I wondered how Covites celebrate Veterans Day. I discovered that several local restaurants and convenience stores offer free meals to Veterans on Nov. 11. Of course, federal employees have the day off and ban...

  • Newcomers to the Cove

    JOSEPH WALK, For the Herald|Sep 30, 2021

    The GMC started immediately. We were finally underway, heading back to Blair County after living a year in Tucson. The parting, although bittersweet, was welcomed because we were ready to resume our lives in a place we enjoy, a place where we know we belong: central Pennsylvania. Nancy and I moved to Arizona for a year to be near to our daughter and her family. They were in the Air Force and, being retired military ourselves, we were allowed to rent a house on base very near our grandchildren. It became an opportunity we could not miss so we...

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