This picture was taken at Historic Kirby's Mill in Medford. It appeared in SJ Magazine in January, 2009. It was taken by professional photographer David Michael Howarth, a graduate of Shawnee High School, Medford. I interviewed David on my LDTV Cable program, "Where Are They Now?"

On numerous occasions in the past, I have begun writing my memoirs.  After a few entries, I generally got busy about other things and stopped writing.  Recently I decided that I now had all the tools necessary to make the job a lot easier — and time was running out.  Another incentive was the fact that my grandchildren started to accumulate, and I wanted to tell them about many of the unique things that happened to me and around me during my lifetime.

So as I was about to turn 76 in 2010 I made a promise to myself to start writing and not to stop until I couldn’t write any more.  I didn’t want to lock myself into any particular format, because I think that’s what prevented me from keeping on task before.  So I would get my inspiration from events and anniversaries that occurred during the year and focus on a theme or two along the way.  One of the themes I definitely wanted to write about was my childhood connection with my German-Catholic Parish and School in Wilkes-Barre – St. Nicholas.  That is now a part of the early memories recorded here.

I’ve navigated numerous careers in my lifetime and have traveled all over the world, which gives me a lot of material to draw upon as I tell my story.  I hope my children and grandchildren will find things here that will inspire them, make them laugh and acquaint them with more of their father and grandfather than they thought was there.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my adventure.

Joe Laufer


http://www.LauferWorld.com – My personal website

http://www.BurlcoHistorian.com – My website as Official Burlington County Historian

http://www.LauferTravel.com – My travel website which contains Travelogues I wrote after many of my international trips.

http://www.issuu.com/Laufer-publications – My published articles and complete sets of Halley’ Comet Watch ’86  and Discovery Five-Hundred, Newsletters I Authored, Edited and Published during the return of Halley’s Comet (1985-86) and the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary in 1992.

http://www.SmithvilleConservancy.com – The website I created for the H.B. Smith Industrial Village Conservancy, a non-profit support group of which I am the President.

3 Responses to About

  1. Edward Moran, Brooklyn NY says:

    Greetings Joe Laufer,
    Thanks to the miracle of googling, I discovered your rich and fascinating articles about growing up in mid-20th century Wilkes-Barre. I am twelve years younger than you, but we essentially grew up in the same kind of cultural environment. I was born on Hazle St/Ave, near Blackman St, not far from St Boniface.

    I wonder if my parents ever ordered coal from your father? I well remember the trucks with their one-two-three ton dividers.

    There was a real ritual to life in W-B in those days: a liturgical ritual at church, of course, but also the ritual of shoveling coal, hauling ashes, waiting for the crossing gates to rise and fall as trains passed, hearing the constant whirr and thump of factories like the Hazard, the Vulcan, Okonite, etc. It was a special time and place, despite the mine caves and the culm banks and the horrible loss of life. My grandfather went into the mines as a breaker boy at eight and was killed on St Patricks Day when he was 50.

    I would love to share with you a few poems and articles I’ve written. Haven’t yet gotten around to putting them up on a blog as extensive as yours, so would be happy to send them via e-mail. I have an essay in which I mention the four-faced clock at St Nicholas (my grandmother lived in the Dresden apartments in the 1950s), also a poem about my experiences as an altar boy at St Leo’s, trying to artfully manipulate the paten to prevent the Host from falling. Think you’ll enjoy them both.

    How can send these to you?

    Edward Moran, Brooklyn, NY

  2. SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION DEPARTMENT: Hi Ed. I too grew up in the world Joe Laufer describes so vividly. St. Mary’s altar boy. St. Mary’s HS, Msgr. Francis Costello baptized, confirmed me, gave me my first communion and handed me my St. Mary’s High School diploma.

  3. Dave Coskey says:

    I’m the president/gm of WOND and I’m trying to document the history of the station. I’d love to capture some of your memories — and would especially love to scan an old photos or momentos that you may still have on hand.

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