Only in York County

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Ask Joan: The “sold the house” edition

In one whirlwind week, we listed our West Manchester Township home for sale, had many showings and finalized an offer. Now we finish our packing and gear up for our May 12 move a whole five miles up the road back to Dover Township, where I was raised!

As a nice break from packing, here’s a look at some recent Ask Joan mail.

What’s inside

1. Following up on Jay’s Subs
2. Two questions – umbrella, knuckling eggs
3. Memories of former Smith’s bakery
4. Seeking memories of Jim Fuhrman


Regarding Jay’s Subs… it was on the corner of West Philadelphia and Roosevelt Avenue (It’s been torn down for quite a few years now). I used to live on North Penn Street during 1983-1985, and would go over there quite often to eat, since Mom worked in the evenings. They had the best cheeseburger subs, and fries.. I chose them over JoJaMa’s every time.
– Carmen

Carmen was writing in response to last week’s question from reader Cutty, seeking more information on Jay’s. I’m sure I must have been there myself, because our family had a business inside the Market & Penn Farmers’ Market from about 1984 to 1998; my mom remembers walking over to get subs for us for lunch when my dad was there to help her tend market. Neither of us think it was there for very long, though; if anyone can provide any dates, I’d be glad to see them!


I have an umbrella that I won from the York Newspaper Company many, many years ago. How or why I can’t remember. It is a big one with cartoons on and says York Sunday News and York Newspaper. It has a tag on it that reads Off the Press Promotions. I have no idea of the date, could you find anything out for me?

Also, are you familiar with knuckling at Easter time? That’s when you take hard-boiled decorated eggs, the pointed ends first, and try to crack the egg of the other person. If you succeed, you then turn to the other ends until both ends are cracked. It continues until someone ends up with an egg that isn’t cracked or only has one end cracked. Where and when did this originate from?
– Wilda Bosserman

Wilda, hopefully I can help with the umbrella; I’d date that to probably the mid- to late 1990s, because they still had a few and were giving them away when I began working at the YDR in 1999!

As far as knuckling, that one was totally new to me! I did find a reference to it, but described as “egg tapping,” on The Incredible Egg’s Eggcyclopedia website, which described it as an “age-old ritual,” which is not at all helpful. Searching for egg tapping on Wikipedia suggests that it goes back as far as the Medieval times, with appearances across Europe and North America. I’d suggest looking up egg tapping to learn more!


Recently you wrote about Zech’s bakery in Red Lion and Yoe about a question from Don Portner. This originally was Smith Bakery from Yoe. They had a bakery truck and delivered items to rural areas. I lived on a farm located on the road from Brownton to Felton. They stopped at our house and we would get a loaf of sliced bakery bread. Other than that, our mother baked. Also we would get a pack of iced buns and on the passenger seat of the bakery truck, there was a suitcase which held penny candy and often we would get ten cents worth of candy. What a treat. We also had a butcher truck and a produce truck stop at the house. The Smiths had two daughters, Arlene and Bernice who graduated from the 1938 class of Red Lion High School, of which I was a member. Arlene’s married name was Strunk and I think she moved to Pittsburgh area. Bernice married Robert Manchey and they lived in the Yoe area. Bernice was one of the few who drove a car to school and brought Yoe students along. This was before school buses. Later Smith’s sold to Zech’s and they had a small store on the square in Red Lion, I think in the movie building, which was later torn down.

After most of us retired, we had a group from the 1938 class who would meet for lunch, sometimes it would be 13 of us. Later we traveled on bus trips together and Bernice would be one of the group.

You also mentioned Barnhart’s Bakery. Mrs. Barnhart made a delicious chicken meat pie. Occasionally we would go to her shop for lunch and to this day, I make a chicken pie like she did. When I graduated she gave me a small crocheted gift which I used as a toothpick holder. Later she opened a pie shop at her home on Gay Street.

I also remember buying office items from the H. G. Bancroft, Inc., company after I went to work.
– Janet C. Gladfelter of Felton

A few weeks ago, we’d talked about these bakeries and the H.G. Bancroft store, and I was glad to get Janet’s memories to add to those topics!


Finally for today is a request I received from Barb Murphy, who is seeking the help of some Only in York County readers for a project she is working on.

She describes it as follows: “Jim Fuhrman graduated from York High in 1968, joined the Marines and was killed in Vietnam in 1970. He was a fantastic young man who was colorblind when it came to race, was a superb athlete and was well liked by just by anyone he met. I’m writing a book about his life and am asking for anyone who knew him and may have something to add to the book, such as a funny memory, or maybe something he did that stays in their memory, or just about him as a friend. It doesn’t need to be anything profound.”

Barb said anyone with input about Mr. Fuhrman can email her at, find her on Facebook by searching for Barb Vowles Murphy, or call her at 717-741-2966.

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.