Dunmorean of the Month: Marlena Pegula

marlenaBy Steve Svetovich

Marlena Pegula is busy with academics, sports and clubs, but her biggest honor came in the beginning of her senior year when she was named Miss Buck at Dunmore High School.

Daughter of Diane and Mark Pegula, Marlena is a four-year member of the volleyball and softball teams at Dunmore. She is a four-year manager of the girls’ basketball team.

She is a member of the Spanish Club, French Club, SADD (students against destructive decisions), TACT, National Honor Society, Health Careers Club, Earth Club, Drama Club, Art Club, Band, Chorus and Show Choir. She also helps with the costumes for school plays and has been a varsity basketball cheerleaders for two years And with all that extracurricular activity, Marlena still puts academics first. She has an impressive 93 academic average. Her favorite subject is Calculus.

A four-year starter on the softball team, she pitched, played outfield and third base for the Lady Bucks last season. She will concentrate more on pitching this year.

Humble in nature, Marlena takes her role as Miss Buck seriously.

“I am very honored and proud to represent my school in a very positive way,” she said. “My goal is to represent myself in a way that the younger students can look up to me. I want to help show the younger students to always do their best to succeed at what they want in school and in life.”

Marlena said she has learned how to balance her time with a busy schedule.

“I always find time for studies before anything else. Then I put the time in for sports and clubs.”

The scholar-athlete said her experience at Dunmore has been like no other. “It is an experience I will never forget. I have been very honored to go to Dunmore High School.”

The new Miss Buck said her parents have been huge mentors in her life.

“They always tell me to do my best at anything I attempt and to never give up on anything.”

Marlena said she enjoys listening to music in her spare time and the late Whitney Houston was always an inspiration. She would like to see Misterwives and The Lumineers in concert.

Her sister Marina, a sophomore softball player at Lackawanna College, played volleyball and softball for two years with Marlena at Dunmore. Marlena was also the basketball manager for two of the years her sister played on that team. “It was a lot of fun being with my sister,” she said.

Marlena would like to study pharmaceutical science at either the University of Sciences or Louisiana State University in college. She would also like to play softball in college.

“I want to become a pharmacist someday, work for a pharmacy and someday open my own pharmacy.”

In the meantime, Marlena will do her very best to represent all Dunmore students as Miss Buck. “I am just so very honored,” she said.


Artist of the Month: Beverly Petrini

Artist of MonthBy Beverly A. Petrini

I started painting at the Dunmore Activity Hub in March of 2015. My family gave me art supplies for Christmas of 2014 and shortly after, Dolly Michalczyk invited me to join her in the oil painting class at the Hub. I was hesitant because I am not a skilled sketcher and I doubted my ability to draw or paint anything “free hand.”

Now, after two years, I jokingly say,  “ I may not be able to draw, but I can sure move the paint around the canvas to create my art.”

Painting at the Hub has been a wonderful experience for me and I have met some truly gifted artists who, I believe, “have left their egos at the door.” Jill Swersie, our talented instructor, has eternal patience and gives individual instruction each class. Everyone is friendly, eager to help or offer suggestions. Oil painting is a forgiving media and many times we artists repaint and repaint until the finished composition pleases the eye and the soul.

The process of choosing a composition for painting has been somewhat easy for me because I paint what speaks to me. I am drawn to vivid color and I love the contrasts in some compositions, for example, the Magnolia on Red Velvet (my favorite to date). The soft shadows of the flowers petals and the deep red of the velvet are what drew me to want to paint this piece.

Of my other featured paintings, Oliver was painted for my grandson; The Antique Door satisfied my love for old doors, and Red Gladiola reminded me of my childhood flower garden.

The Dunmore Activity Hub is a wonderful resource for the community and the diversity of the activities speak to the social, emotional, artistic, physical, and nutritional needs of those who choose to become involved. I can see myself continuing to hone my skills from year to year alongside the many friends I have made at the Hub.

Thank you, Dolly, for introducing me to this artistic journey and my fellow travelers.

Holy Cross Students to Host First Friday Art Exhibit and Auction

Holy Cross Art Auction Press Photo 2017

Holy Cross High School in Dunmore will hold its second annual First Friday Student Exhibit & Silent Art Auction on Friday, Nov. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Diocese of Scranton Pastoral Center, 330 Wyoming Ave., in conjunction with the “First Friday Scranton” activities. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Holy Cross High School Tuition Assistance Program.

Artwork in a variety of mediums, including photography, painting, watercolor, ceramics, and graphic design, will be on display or up for auction throughout the evening. Constantino’s Catering will provide light fare, and tickets will be sold for raffle baskets.

For information, contact John Anthony Farkas Jr. at 570-702-5523.

Shown first row, from left, are Holy Cross student artists Jack Torquati, Elizabeth Talbot, Laurelai Vanston and Justin Walker.

Back row: Ben Tolerico, Holy Cross principal; John Anthony Farkas Jr., manager of Development & Alumni Relations for Catholic Schools, and Kristina Toolan, Holy Cross art faculty.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: November 2017

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Last week my husband and I made what I consider to be an “emergency” trip to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I had just received notice via email that Country Curtains would be closing after 60 years.  

Every window in our house is adorned with Country Curtains. After I recovered from my shock and dismay, I told my husband that this trip was a necessity, the last opportunity I would have to buy my favorite Country Curtains.  So, on a beautiful fall day, we headed up the New York State Thruway.    

For him, it was a treat as the “home” of Country Curtains is the Red Lion Inn, both owned by the Fitzpatrick Family. The Inn has been an historic landmark since 1773, and in 1968 Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick, who owned a thriving curtain business, purchased the Inn where the main Country Curtain store would be located.    

Needless to say, we have frequently visited the Red Lion Inn–not only for the curtains, but also for the ambiance, great food, quaintness and the “welcoming” porch.  

So while I spent two hours (yes, two hours) in the Country Curtains Store in the rear of the Inn, my husband sat patiently on that front porch watching literally hundreds of visitors taking photos of the porch and the gigantic pumpkins adorning the front entrance.    

While visiting the gift shop, I purchased the Inn’s new Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, which they serve with baby greens,  dried cranberries and walnuts, and also on chicken salad or as a marinade for chicken or fish.

The Inn has long been known for it’s food, so  here are some of the Red Lion Inn’s top recipes for you to enjoy during the upcoming holiday seasons:

Autumn Bisque Soup:

butternut4 cups chicken stock or broth
1  cup onion, chopped
2 slices bread, crusts removed, cubed
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped coarse
1 lb. butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Combine stock or broth, onion, bread cubes, apples, squash, salt, marjoram, rosemary and pepper in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil over moderate heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove squash with slotted spoon and scoop out flesh , returning flesh to the soup and discarding skin.  

Puree soup in batches in a blender.  Return puree to the rinsed-out kettle.  In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks and cream.  Stir in a little soup into the egg mixture, and then stir this back into the soup.  Heat soup over moderate heat until it is hot, but do not let it boil.  Ladle bisque into heated bowls and serve.  Serves 4-6.


Russian Dressing:

1 hard-boiled egg (optional)
2 sweet pickles
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 tsp. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
1/2 clove garlic, peeled
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Process the egg, pickles, onions, both bell peppers and garlic together in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Dressing will keep in refrigerator for 1 week. Yield: 2 cups.


Cheddar, Ale and Sausage Soup:

1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp. onion, diced
1181cheddar5year3-jpg-jpg-jpg3 Tbsp. carrot, diced
3 Tbsp. celery, diced
1 Tbsp.  garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups ale
1/2 lb. bratwurst, diced
1/2 cup diced, canned tomatoes
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese

Saute’ all vegetables except tomatoes in butter.  Add flour and cook 20 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.  Add chicken stock and ale, stirring until slightly thickened.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour until flavors are blended.



Welsh Rarebit:

2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. ground paprika
1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. prepared English mustard
Salt, to taste
10 slices Canadian bacon
10  thick tomato slices
5 English muffins, split
Ground paprika
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat milk with bay leaf in a small saucepan.  Melt 1/4 cup of the butter in another saucepan.  Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes to form a roux.  Do not brown.  Remove bay leaf and whisk the hot milk into the roux and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in nutmeg.  

Add cheese, beer, broth, 1 tsp. paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and salt to the roux.  Mix thoroughly and cook slowly over low heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Adjust seasonings.  Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.

Grill bacon and tomato slices on a grill or under broiler until lightly browned.  Toast muffins and spread muffins with remaining butter.  Top each muffin with a slice of the grilled bacon and grilled tomato slice.  Pour 1/2 cup of the sauce over each rarebit. Sprinkle with paprika and place under broiler until lightly browned and bubbly, about 2 minutes.  Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.  Serves 5.


Roast Beef Hash:

1 1/2 lbs. cooked prime rib or roast beef, trimmed of fat and gristle
3/4 lb. potatoes, peeled, cooked and diced
1/2 lb. onions, quartered
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Cut beef into 1″ cubes.  Combine beef cubes, potatoes, onions, and seasonings in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside, covered, for 2 hours.  Coarsely dice or chop meat mixture with a meat grinder or food processor, but do not allow to get mushy.  Heat oil in skillet and cook hash over medium heat until potatoes are brown.  

Turn hash over and cook the other side.  Adjust seasonings.  While hash is cooking, fry or poach eggs.  Top each portion of hash with 2 eggs and serve immediately.


Leo the Lion:

1/2 scoop raspberry sherbet
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
6 Tbsp. club soda
1 orange slice, for garnish
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish

Place sherbet and orange juice in blender and blend at medium-high speed for 15 seconds.  Pour into a glass and top with the club soda.  Garnish with orange slice and cherry.  Serves 1.