Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Never Ending Winter

Snowmobiles finding plowed road

Multiple snowmobile turn arounds

last of front porch wood
Well today is the last of February and the wood on the front porch has made it through the cold weather as Lee predicated. We still have wood on the back porch for what should be the down side of winter the next few months. Although, the official end of Winter is March 21st the end of using firewood often does not come until May. We have had many below zero temperatures this winter and are hoping this morning's -12 is the last of them. Unlike the winter of 2012 when winter never showed this winter and last has had cold temperatures driving the depth of frost deep.  Last year there was still ice on the ground in April and I had a hard time getting water to start in two of the camps I take care of. This year is more of the same. We are very much hoping for the above freezing temperatures promised for next week although that will lead to the dreaded melting March combo's of mud, ice, rain, snow and whatever mother nature can think of.

For those of you thinking of driving your regular vehicle through the State Forest I would advise against it for now. No one will pull you out and it will be April before the road is plowed again. When the weather gets above freezing the nice packed snow you might have driven on will become a deep wet snow trap. One winter Lee and I spent 4 hours making the trip from Cedar Run up to the house and I walked the last 3 miles to get the snowmobile so I could pick up the groceries and Lee. Once the road refroze over night driving out again became possible. Best to wait a couple months, or plan on skiing, hiking, or snowmobling into camp for now.

We have more snow in the forecast for Sunday then a nice warm up next week.  Today we are enjoying the comfort of a good fire listening to the snow come off the roof and the snowmobilers turning around at the sight of plowed road from our house up. Enjoy the weekend in the woods safely. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Memories of Jack Bonitz live on in Leetonia

This photo was taken December 2009.  Uncle Jack (standing near bear) joined the Bear Kill club.  He is pictured here with Leann's Dad Bob in wheelchair.  (Who passed 3/2010). Leann swears it was one of his best days ever.  He drove for miles to show his friends what he bagged.  The bear was shot in Linglestown, PA area on Bob’s farm.   Jack shot many many deer in Leetonia along with turkey, grouse and a prized Bob Cat. Trout never had a chance if he was on the stream.  He was a friend to all and was well known at the local watering holes throughout Potter and Tioga county. Emailed from Leann Creamer.
Jack never let a guest go without a drink if you visited him. He was a welcoming host and a teller of tales about his adventures in Leetonia.
One of Jack's friends said: Jack is the last of the Leetonia first Generation. You'll be missed but we are happy you are with your family and life friends in heaven telling your Jack tales. We miss you, your council, your tall tales, but not taking our money.To clarify the taking of money...many a poker game was played during a dark night playing cards  and smoking cigars with his friends in Leetonia.

I remember Jack telling a couple of stories to me he claimed to be true. I will let you decide.

The Bear Incident

Jack told me he got so mad at a bear stealing the corn he put out for the deer he climbed on top of the feeder(which is at least 9' high) and waited for the bear with a bat. When the bear came he jumped down and gave him a good whacking. The bear didn't come back.

Legend of the lost wheels

He said one night he was in town at his favorite pub and it started to snow very hard. He said they got a couple feet of snow. But this did not stop Jack from driving back to camp on unplowed roads. He said he doesn't remember much of the drive, but the next morning when he got up two of the wheels and tires were gone on his truck. He claims the deep snow kept his truck up so he was able to make it back. He never did find those tires.

The Fish Story to top all fish stories

Jack claims he caught a 18" trout in the stream(No one doubts his ability to catch trout). But what happened next might be a stretch. Before he could land the trout a 24 " trout came along and grabbed the other trout. He claims to have landed both fish at the same time.


The Bonitz camp is on the what is called the "boneyard," where they buried a lot of cow bones. It was also the spot for the old Leetonia School House. The property was owned by Frank Wilsbach and sold to Jack's father John Bonitz. They built the existing cabin around 1958.

Jack joins many other hunting and fishing enthusiasts as well as lovers of Leetonia that now roam the woods loving every minute and sharing their tales with each other. RIP Jack from the Mountain girls, Paula and Lee Anne

reprint of
Jack's Obituary in Harrisburg Paper 
On the evening of Saturday, February 7th, 2015, John T. "Jack" Bonitz, Jr., 80, of Harrisburg, passed away, peacefully, surrounded by his family at the Community Campus of Pinnacle Health, Harrisburg, PA.
Jack was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on August 19th, 1934; the oldest child of John T. Bonitz, Sr. and Sylvia M. (De Dee) Bonitz. Jack grew up spending much of his time trapping, hunting, and fishing. He was happiest while spending time at the family cabin in the mountains, fly fishing for trout. He loved to duck hunt and spent many endless days fishing on the Susquehanna River. In his later years, Jack enjoyed spending time in Ocean City, NJ, deep sea fishing and spending time with family and friends.
After graduating high school, Jack enlisted in the reserves. He served on the USS Albany and was honorably discharged in 1961. He attended college in Elizabethtown and worked for the family business, Bonnyview Development. He co-owned Bonitz Bros. Wholesale Sporting Goods. Jack loved to travel and visit with other business owners along the east coast. Later, when he partially retired, he worked for Faber Brothers and often earned top awards for being an outstanding salesman.
Jack received his Eagle Scout Award in 1949, while a member of Troop 79 in Progress. Jack was a Navy veteran, and a member of the Linglestown American Legion Post #272, and the Masonic Perseverance Lodge 21 F & A.M., Harrisburg Consistory. 
In 1957, Jack married Sally Clark (Winand). They had three children together. Jack is preceded in death by his mother and father, both paternal and maternal grandparents, many aunts and uncles as well as his brother, Robert "Bob" Bonitz, Sr., and his second wife, Kathy Fox. Jack is survived by his daughter Cindy Bonitz-Ryan and her companion Ron Reed of Bayfield, CO, son John T. Bonitz III and his wife Christine of Harrisburg, and daughter Cathy Bonitz-Eakin and her husband Kirk of Mechanicsburg; his nine grandchildren, Weylin Ryan, Ricky Ryan, Nolan Reed, Casey Reed, Steffanye Hawbaker Mack, Paige Bonitz, Ryan, Haley and Ashley Eakin. Jack is also survived by his sister-in-law, Ann Bonitz, his niece, Leann Bonitz Craemer, and nephew Robert Bonitz, Jr. , all of Harrisburg and his companion Carolyn Adams.
Please join the family at a Celebration of Jack's Life on Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 at 11 am at the Hetrick-Bitner Funeral Home, with Rev. Nathan C. Minnich, officiating. There will be a visitation from 10-11 am at the funeral home with a masonic service at 10:50 am. Graveside services will be held privately at a later date.

Monday, February 2, 2015

State Forest Roads closed

Snow from front of house

The State Forest Roads are closed according to Paula. Traveling with anything but a snowmobile this morning is nearly impossible. The exception being the road in front of my house that is plowed out to the Gaines side. Those who dare make the trip with a car or truck on other than plowed roads are in for a 10 inch base which was followed by at least 8 inches last night. I, in fact, waited until the plow came at 9 am to venture out for anything but cleaning off my own drive and the neighbors drive with the 4-wheeler plow. The fact I even came up the State Forest Road last Friday was greeted with a slap to the back of my head by our Elk Township road clearer, Lee. If it was folly then it is impossible now. It is still lightly snowing/misting. The temperatures are supposed to go up today and we are getting a little wet stuff on top of the snow. For now don't plan on coming to Leetonia past my house with anything but a snowmobile. Have a great snowy Leetonia day. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off and shoveling out.