Whereas, The Clarion University Chapter of APSCURF approved on October 23, 2013, one annual memorial scholarship of $1,000;

Resolved, That the APSCURF Memorial Scholarship shall be a merit scholarship for entering freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are descendants of present and past faculty, librarians, and coaches at Clarion University; and

Resolved, That the 2015-2016 scholarship be designated a memorial for our deceased colleagues

Michael D. Barrett 06/02/2015
Computer Information Science

June Marie Hetrick 04/09/2015

Nancy W. Keller 07/11/2015

Donna G. Kinol 05/02/2015


When is a book more than a book? For one, when it has the power to go directly to your emotions; two, when it touches your sense of who you are as an American; three, when it is an act of patriotism to open and study the content; and four, when you want to immediately share your experience with friends and family. Such is The Photographs of Abraham Lincoln, published 2015 by the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation and Steidl Publishers. Two hundred seventy-one plates of Lincoln in chronological order make this book something you have never experienced before.

Buy it for yourself. Buy it for your family. Buy it for your public library. Buy it for your alma mater. Buy it for your dearest friend. You will, for ever after, know you did a wonderful act in sharing The Photographs of Abraham Lincoln.

Moulin Is Flexed


Trenton Moulin, Executive Director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, was selected as Venango County’s Young Professional of the Year and received the FLEX Award at a Venango Area Chamber of Commerce ceremony April 10, 2015. FLEX is short for Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange. In the photograph, he and Bre, dressed in their party clothes, are holding the new doorstop.

We may cut back his salary as no one should be that happy on the job. And yes Trenton, thanks for the great work.


It will soon be time to officially celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on May 2nd. So I am telling bookstore owners how to extend the holiday for the entire month of May. Yes, this is akin to my telling a chef how to follow a Betty Crocker recipe; but here goes.

Put up a display of books about bookstores and booksellers, any number of titles may be included. My easy list is
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
Colin Bateman, Mystery Man
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Bookshop
Jeri Halston, Ice Man Cometh
Deborah Meyler, The Bookstore
Jean-Pierre Ohl, Mr Dick or the Tenth Book
Ronald Rice, editor, My Bookstore
Robin Sloan, Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Ali Smith, The Whole Story and Other Stories
Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind
Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

People shopping in a bookstore are not there just for one book; they are there because they love the look, the feel, the smell, the memories, and time spent on a pleasurable activity. Help them celebrate their good fortune to have a bookstore available. For those of us without one we will have to celebrate our own way using you know who. I have read Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop in a three novel cover; and I have my eye on another in the list. Charles Marlin


The Clarion County Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting on March 18, 2015, celebrating eight years of growth and service to the community. We elected Barry McCauliff President for the next three years, Janice Horn Vice President, Hal Wassink Secretary, and Andy Montana Treasurer. For our delegation of three Trustees to the Bridge Builders Community Foundations Board of Trustees for the next three years, we elected Bill Kaufman, Barry McCauliff, and Dan Parker. For the 13 March 2018 class of Directors for the CCCF Board, we elected Becky Edwards, Bill Hearst, Bill Kaufman, Dan Parker, and Mike Vereb. We also elected Bill Miller to a position in the 13 March 2016 class.

As of the date of our Annual Meeting, CCCF funds total $344,688.83, making our share 4.80% of the total BBCF funds. We are proud of our progress and hope for continued growth. Our funds are designed to serve the community according to the written instructions of the donors; and our board ensures prudent and watchful stewardship is community based. To create a new fund, call our Executive Director Trenton Moulin at (814) 677-8687 for an opportunity to discuss what you have in mind. We first listen, then advise, and together with you prepare a fund document to make your wishes come true.

From left to right, our photo is of first time Director and new Trustee Dan Parker, first time Director Becky Edwards, founding Director Bill Hearst, and continuing Director, new Board President, and new Trustee Barry McCauliff.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2014 Book Lists


Book lists, particularly those at the end of a year, always catch my attention. I usually read through and pick one or two titles to hand on to for future purchase; but I rarely keep the list as I have no mountain climbing ambition. This year I did something different; I copied out four lists before deciding four were more than enough.

They are “Jonathan Yardley’s favorite books,” and “The ten best books of 2014,” from The Washington Post. From The New York Times, they are “100 Notable Books of 2014,” and “Human Costs of the Forever Wars, Enough to Fill a Bookshelf,” the last list by Michiko Kakutani.

I know the article by Kakutani does not need my promotion; however, I want to comment on it anyway. It is a thoughtful look at how we are recording for our understanding and memory the wars of our own making in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those wars need our attention and wise response as much as does the battered environment; and we seem to be as lost in one confrontation as in the other.

I was surprised to find I have read only two titles Kakutani writes about: Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds, and Brian Turner’s My Life as a Foreign Country; both of which are sure to bring your emotions to the surface. These two books should be in every public library in America; and I am confident they are not the only books in his list that should be tagged as such.

I do not doubt there are other books fully deserving of being listed in the article. Our country should act this coming year to completely choke off the bloody creation of new authors. There are already too many at work and in the development stage. Enough is enough.

As I write this the day before my local Christmas Bird Count, I must mention the only birding book from the Forever Wars, Jonathan Trouern-Trend’s Birding Babylon: A Soldier’s Journal from Iraq. Just now I looked up from my desk to see outside a Pileated Woodpecker tearing a hole in a hemlock looking for a mid-afternoon meal. If we don’t kill or maim life, it seems to work well. Charles Marlin

Image by Zoriah Miller at zoriah.com


Put them on your wish list, assign them as gifts and buy early so you can read them before you have to give them up, I suggest you keep them for your self. They are among the best of the year.

My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir by Brian Turner is the perfect gift for readers interested in how men think and feel in war and stress by an author who is a protein poet and who served two tours in Iraq. Because he is a poet, what he writes is not confined to only his experience; it is universal. Men, whatever you think of them, are well served in this book.

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, A Biography by John Lahr is the best biography of a writer I have read; and I have read a hell of a lot of biographies. The man, his family, his neuroses, his early struggles as a writer, his successes and collaboration with Elia Kazan, his failures, and cannibalization of himself are all woven together as one great American narrative of one of our greatest playwrights. To enjoy to the fullest any of his plays, you need to first read this book. Before you put the book down, you will be eating fruit cake, drinking martinis, and swiming through the massive genius of Thomas Lanier Williams III we know as Tennessee Williams.

Lila by Marilynne Robinson again brings us full frontal with the enormity of what we think of as the small lives of unimportant people; but the author does it with a tenderness that is never false, and is always empathetic. She is the author Home and Gilead; and she has again returned to the bare town of Gilead, Iowa. She makes you wish you knew the townspeople; and of course your wish confirms you already know them. She demonstrates how imperfect, people deal with unanswerable questions; they live with them by getting up and attending to the duties of the day.

Undeniably we live in a time of great writing. The riches seem to overwhelm us; still, it is a happy gluttony. Charles Marlin

For seventeen consecutive years the Clarion University Chapter of APSCURF, The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Retired Faculty, has awarded memorial scholarships through Clarion University Foundation honoring their deceased colleagues. The Memorial Resolution for 2014-2015 is as follows.

Whereas, The Clarion University Chapter of APSCURF approved on October 23, 2013, one annual memorial scholarship fo $1,000;

Resolved, That the 2014-2015 scholarship be designated a memorial for our deceased colleagues

Vahe H. Berberian 12/25/13 Music
Rafael Diaz y Diaz 09/11/14 Modern Languages
Dean Alan Farnham 11/07/13 Music
Francis Gabriel Greco 01/11/14 English
Gail F. Grejda 05/13/14 Education
James E. Holden 11/09/13 Computer Science
Jack I. Lowe 06/17/14 Law
Russell Charles Reefer Jr 10/04/14 Music
Jean Pehrson Rumsey 05/14/14 Philosophy
Kay Schlappe 03/10/14 Psychology
C. Darrel Sheraw 03/27/14 English
Glenn L. Sitzman 02/08/13 Library
William Frederick Stine 01/28/14 Economics


First Photograph, left to right: Jamie Lafever, Trenton Moulin, and Mike Vereb. Mike and Sally Vereb hosted the September 17th meeting of the Clarion County Community Foundation Board of Directors at Lincoln Hall, a historic performance space above the Foxburg Free Library. Sally made pizzas and chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen of the Button House and brought them across the street to our delight. The Board has never been treated so well or met in so charming a space.

Second Photograph, left to right: Barry McCauliff, Bill Kaufman, Janice Horn, and Hal Wassink. Following our meeting we toured the Button House, a Depression Era home of double plank construction Mike and Sally have restored and decorated in period furnishings to display some of Sally’s vast collection of buttons.

Third Photograph, left to right: Jamie Lafever, Clara Belloit, Jerry Belloit, and Sally Vereb. Sally gave us a brief introduction and then we wandered throughout the house. The buttons decorate every room and are organized by time, fashion, material, and subject matter.

Fourth Photograph, altogether: Charles Marlin and Sally Vereb. We asked lots of questions and had an aw-shucks time. It would be difficult not to enjoy a tour of the Button House which Sally offers during the summer months. Call her at (724) 659-0180 or do the email thing at buttons@thebuttonhouse.com

Fifth Photograph: Depression Era aprons at the Button House. The tours are free; but there is a “Donations Appreciated” bowl in the living room. You can skip the bowl if you bring Sally a bag of buttons; or as I discovered, Sally has a second weakness for Depression-Style aprons. Find her a good one, and bring it along.

Please don’t expect Sally to make pizzas for you as she only does that for very “special” occasions. Around the corner from the Button House is the Foxburg Pizza Place, the Allegheny Grille, Foxburg Wine Cellars, and Divani Chocolatier (and ice cream parlor). You will not leave Foxburg hungry. Charles Marlin