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A Century of Wonderful Memories for West Shore Woman - abc27 WHTM

A Century of Wonderful Memories for West Shore Woman

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  • Let's Go PlacesMore>>

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    A big reason why Darlene Barrick fought to save the Mahanoy Union Church from bulldozers lies in the small cemetery next to it."This is Ulysses Grant Baker. My grandfather Baker," said Barrick, pointing to one of several headstones in the church cemetery with direct family ties. "He helped build the church."At another stone she added, "This is my Uncle Albert who fought in World War One."Since closing in the early 1960's, the church suffered heavily from neglect and vandalism. But stepping in...More >>

"This is where I grew up. I used to sit in that bay window," Madeline Balsbaugh noted, pointing to a painting of her childhood home in Lemoyne.

And for Madeline Balsbaugh, celebrating her 100th birthday is a century worth of wonderful memories.

"That's my son, Bob," said Balsbaugh, tracing her fingers over a framed family picture. "That's his wife Shirley and their daughter."

Balsbaugh is the proud mother of four, great grand mother to 15 and great, great grandmother to four more. In detail, she can quickly recall growing up and later raising her own family in the same home on Hummel Avenue in Lemoyne. One of her earliest memories was seeing horse drawn wagons giving way to automobiles, including the Hollier-8 touring car her dad bought for fifty dollars, and on which she learned to drive.

She recalls fondly her first marriage that ended early with the passing of her husband Donald Buckbee at age 33. And smiles when reliving what she calls, a wonderful marriage to Lemoyne business man, Jim Balsbaugh

"This was his ESSO station at 3rd and Bosler in Lemoyne," Balsbaugh remembered, pointing to a picture of the gas station.

For the rough times in her life, Balsbaugh said she often used humor to soften the blow. Humor that is still evident today.

Pointing her finger at me, Balsbaugh asked, "Now, do you think I'm old?"

"No," I replied. "I'm amazed at how sharp you are."

"Okay, then," she responded with a grin, "Come around Friday and we'll have fish."

And, on this milestone birthday, she had this advice for achieving longevity.

"Drink a lot of water. If you want to put a little gin it it, that's all right."

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