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Margaret Nash

By M Davies   /     Feb 12, 2018  /     Community Service, Hobby-ish  /     3 Comments

So I did a thing.

You may remember that I wrote a blog post last year about the Lee Park Honor Roll. As I was researching the information for the post, I fell down a wormhole otherwise known as Margaret Nash. To bring you up to speed, Margaret is the only woman on the wall that was held as a prisoner of war. There are very few names of women on the wall, but she’s the only POW. The back story is that Margaret was captured and held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese during World War II. She neglected her own health to nurse hundreds of her fellow prisoners suffering from disease and near-starvation in the Philippine Islands. She was still struggling to survive when the camp was finally liberated by US forces three years later. Though doctors told her she wouldn’t survive, she went on to live a long life nursing and teaching.

I closed the blog post by saying “…I believe it should be fair game for a PA historical marker, but I’m not sure what the application process would be for something like that.”

And that’s where the thing that I did comes into play. After extensive research, and talking with some of my history buff friends, I decided to take the plunge into madness. I downloaded the nomination form for a Pennsylvania Historical Marker in June. The document, which can be found on the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission website, is a 10 page application that needs to be filled out and returned for consideration. The deadline for submission falls on December 1st each year. The committee then meets at the beginning of the next year to discuss the submissions and select the markers. I carried the form with me for about a month without really reviewing any of the details. I think it was around July or August when I really started to scrape the surface of what was needed to complete the nomination. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. I talked to Tony Brooks briefly about the process, and I think he told me at one point he was a part of the selection committee. He said that people with Masters Degrees and PhDs have written proposals that haven’t been accepted. I didn’t let that discourage me.

Let’s just say the application process is quite extensive. You need to cite sources as you would if you were writing a school paper. It’s been a while since I’ve had to write a paper of that type of caliber, so it hurt my brain. I ended up citing the sources I found in my research as my primary sources. I scoured the internet for some secondary sources and came across a few books that Margaret was mentioned in. I attempted to reach out to the authors of these books, but on a tight deadline, I only heard back from one, Mary Cronk Farrell, who published “Pure Grit”:

Hi Michelle,
What a wonderful project! You certainly may use my book as a resource. Since you don’t have a copy, I suggest you ask your local library to add the book to their collection. You might also let local teachers know that the book is available to students at a reduced price through the Scholastic Book Clubs. $8, I think.
Best of luck! Please keep me in the loop on the historical marker.

All best,


Mary Cronk Farrell

Take a look at my books here. 

I’m leaving the link to her website in this post. While she writes books for a more juvenile audience, I still think they contain helpful information should you find yourself needing to research history’s most bad ass women! We exchanged a few more emails and she admitted that Margaret was one of her favorite nurses in the book and that she recently did a presentation on Margaret (as well as others) in San Diego.

Speaking of presentations, my good friend Kathleen Smith shared a Facebook post with me about a presentation at Misericordia’s Center for Nursing History that happened in November. My jaw immediately dropped. The presentation was all about nurses during WWII and Margaret was one of the featured nurses! As matter of fact, the person who spoke during the presentation was Margaret’s nephew, who happens to be a Reverend at Saint Faustina Parish in Nanticoke. I honestly had no idea that Margaret still had family that were local. From what I read, she moved to California and taught nursing there. Through some friends who happen to attend that parish, I was able to get a letter to Father Nash who seems excited and interested to learn more about why Margaret’s story fascinated me so much. I’m still waiting to hear back from him, but he’s a very busy person. Kathleen did put me in touch with Donna Snelson who runs the Center for Nursing History. I sent her an email and waited to hear back for more information.

In the meantime, the deadline to submit materials was rapidly approaching. I put together what I had in a document (Read: 56 pages) and had 3 or 4 people proofread it. After making some suggested changes, I sent it off to the presses. I should point out – you need to make twelve (12) collated copies of the document to send in for the committee. For those of you keeping score, 56 pages x 12 copies = 672 pages. Since I don’t have access to a large copier, I sent these off to Staples. It cost $47.65. I picked up the order early on Black Friday and the clerk wished me good luck. After that I headed over to the Wilkes-Barre post office and using two boxes, shipped the 12 copies to Harrisburg (another 20 dollars). Margaret Nash arrived just shy of the December 1st deadline.

After the holidays were over, and a few emails were exchanged, I met up with Donna Snelson over lunch. I shared with her my application and she read it over and loved it. She asked if I would be open to changing the location of the marker and I said that I was (if the PHMC will allow me). The marker cost will be $1675 to have made and installed, which clearly I don’t have sitting around. Donna thinks that she can find the money through the Nursing College’s alumni network and possibly the local hospitals. We shall see, that’s about 5 steps ahead at this point. The committee meeting for the selection process hasn’t happened yet!

The committee meets on March 7th and the markers will be selected then. The winning applicants will be notified via email. Even if my application doesn’t get approved this first go round, the commission sends you their notes and you’re allowed to resubmit for a period of 3 years. Donna said that her staff and students would be willing to help with further research and re-writes if needed.

This process has been so overwhelming, it was truly like giving birth. I can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me along the way to get this project off the ground and also to help get me in touch with the right people. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have good news in another month. I promise to keep you all updated either way.

I will leave you with a copy of the application for review. I blotted out my contact information, but everything else is the same. This is a 24 meg document, so it may take a little while to load. Keep your fingers, eyes and toes crossed for me!

Margaret Nash (full)

U.S. Navy Nurses Margaret Nash and Bertha Evans enjoy a chocolate shortly after liberation (U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine, Office of Medical History) Source: Amazing Women In History, all the kick-ass women the history books left out.


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Shit that happened when I wasn’t here

By M Davies   /     Sep 19, 2013  /     Blogging, Community Service, Events, Into the Void  /     2 Comments

I’m channeling my inspiration for today’s blog post from The Bloggess, who has recently followed me on Twitter (YAY, I can die happy!)





News from the Station

I’ve taken over the reigns of the @WNEP twitter account with help from Jim Hamill, Apal and a few others.  There have been bumps in the road, I’m not going to lie, but we are working through them and developing a “Best Practices” guide to Social Media at the station.  I’ve had several spoof accounts shut down in recent weeks and we are well on our way to Twitter verification.  It will be a glorious day when that special blue check mark appears on our account.


WNEP’s Facebook Page reached 100,000 likes 3 weeks ago.  At last check, the competition has approximately 20k likes.  We have more followers by roughly 80k.  It may not seem like a huge deal, but it is to me.  It warms the cockles of my icy cold heart and makes me smile.  LISTEN, I’m already fully aware I’m a huge geek, I don’t need you pointing this out for me.




BlogCon Media Blitz

The NEPA BlogCon frenzy is building week by week.  We are 15 days away from the conference and tickets are selling like hotcakes! This week has been a good week for us traditional media-wise.  We’ve had several appearances through the airwaves and TV sets in Northeast PA.  See for yourself:


On August 8th, I taped an episode of “Save the Kales”.  It was not scheduled to air until the new season began which Jaime said was sometime after September.  “Sometime after September” happened to be over the last week in RCN local programming land – and unfortunately, unless you are in the viewing area, you probably didn’t see the episode.  RCN local programming only airs in the Lehigh Valley/Delaware Valley areas.  FEAR NOT.  Jaime provided me with a Youtube link where you can watch a clip of the episode:


Jaime is up for an Emmy for “Save the Kales” and will be presenting at BlogCon….another reason why you should attend!


Yesterday – 9/18, Mandy joined my favorite morning DJ – Rock 107’s Prospector yesterday morning to promote BlogCon live on the air.  Did you miss it?  SHAME ON YOU.  We’ll forgive you for now, but you can go and listen over on Sound Cloud for a special promo!


Also, yesterday – 9/18, Karla and I made a trek to Lehighton, PA to tape an episode of ComputerWise TV with host George Roberts to discuss BlogCon.  The show went by in the blink of the eye and we had a great time chatting it up with George.  You wouldn’t be able to view this show unless you have Blue Ridge or Service Electric Cable, so the production staff at TV-13 was kind enough to provide us with a DVD of the show.  You can watch it in full below:


Ryan Leckey & I have a crazy Twitter stalker

Taunting online trolls is my favorite pastimes, but I had to put an end to it after this crazy threatened to “Call the Twitter Police” on me.  I reported all 3 (however, there may be more) of her accounts to Twitter Abuse, and they are in the process of shutting them down one by one.  The problem is, its super easy to setup a new Twitter account.  It’s extremely difficult to get one shut down.  She makes a new account every 3 days.  I wish Twitter had some better way of managing this type of abuse.  For now, I am steering clear of Ryan Leckey’s “wife”.  She be cray cray.






I’m sick? Or something.

I swear, I will try to keep this short.  This started festering about 3 weeks ago when I had found a painful lump under my jaw on the left hand side.  I went to the urgent care clinic where they told me that said lump was more than likely a blocked salivary gland or an infected salivary gland.  I started to take antibiotics which gave me diarrhea to the high heavens (sorry, TMI).  I decided to take the antibiotic sparingly.  Well, that backfired.  The following Saturday, I had pain radiating from my jaw all the way up to my eyeball.  I went back to urgent care…who yelled at me for not taking my meds as directed (rightly so) and then prescribed me something new/better.  I’ve been taking that since with no bowel issues, thankfully, but I’m still having a bunch of pain.  Then after working 15 hours last Tuesday, I also developed a cold/sinus infection/flu/whatever.  My throat was raw, my jaw was throbbing and I was in a hell of a lot of pain.  I went to the ENT last Thursday and they prescribed me Prednisone and hardcore pain meds.  I am also scheduled for a CT scan in another week.


Fun fact 1:  CT scans require a dye injection/IV.

Fun fact 2:  I hate needles.

Fun fact 3:  I have medical procedure related vasovagal syncope.

Fun fact 4:  Save a bed for me in the ER next Thursday, since I’ll be hitting the floor.  See also.

I additionally have a dentist appointment this morning.  Since no one knows what specifically is causing my pain, I’m trying to explore every avenue to get this resolved.  I also think I may have found a lump in my stomach that makes me think that the hernia I was concerned about all of those years ago has finally “erupted”, doctor appointment to check that scheduled for tomorrow am.


Apal mentioned me in his blog

Apal used one of the Instagrams I took for the station account on his blog.  He also mentioned me by name.  This is a first and I’m honored.  Read the post here:


Them’s all I got.

‘Til next time.

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NEPA BlogCon Launch Party is TONIGHT!

By M Davies   /     Jun 22, 2012  /     Community Service, Events, NEPA  /     1 Comment

(Mirrored Post from NEPA Blogs)


The Squirrel Girls of the Fearsome Foursome of NEPA BlogCon would like to invite you to their website launch party this evening from 5-7pm at the River Grille in Plains.  Directions and a menu can be found by visiting  RSVP on the Facebook event page here.


Disclaimer: This event is to get people pumped up for the actual BlogCon but this event is not the BlogCon itself :)


We’re ready to launch our website (*ahem* and give one of those super cool press releases about our event! Come get a drink and enjoy free appetizers, door prizes, and cool people!


The Launch Party is a free event but there is a suggested $5 donation. All proceeds benefit 2 local charities (The Arc of Luzerne County and the NEPA Veterans Multicare Alliance). But you don’t have to pay it! And we won’t make you feel guilty if you don’t!


Come socialize with the Fearsome Foursome, Michelle, Mandy, Karla and Leslie.



(Click above image for bigger pop-out version)

NEPA BlogCon is a day long conference held on September 29th at LCCC that’s so much more than your average “Hey, let’s talk about blogging,” event. If you’re looking to learn the REAL scoop behind what makes the blogosphere the place to be nowadays, then this is the event for you. Besides offering you a chance to network with your fellow post slingers, NEPA BlogCon will include panels and sessions related to blogging and Internet things. Don’t worry if you’re not old hat – NEPA BlogCon is for bloggers of all walks of CMS. Not a blogger? This may be the perfect event to get your start with.


We hope that we’ll see you tonight!

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Humble Pie

By M Davies   /     Sep 28, 2011  /     Community Service  /     0 Comment

I sat here staring at this blank blog post window for about an hour now, deciding if I should write, what I should write, and do I have anything to write about?  I think the answer is yes, I do have stuff I want to say, but I'm just too tired to say them.  I've been working a new shift at work and it's totally exhausting the crap out of me.  I work 3-11pm.  I also have a half hour commute to and from work, and in addition, I still need to wake up at 5:30-6am to wake up both kids and get them ready for school.  Ugh.  My eye bags have developed their own eye bags.

Most of the blogging I have been doing as of late has been over at NEPA Blogs.  We have grown exponentially in recent months, so I've been quite busy seeking out new blogs, updating our social media platforms and getting local media coverage as well.  Most days I spend double the amount of blogging energy units that I have.  What's a blogging energy unit?  Read Harold's post about it here

Anyway, the point of this blog post wasn't really to blather on about how exhausted I am, although I think that I did a good job beating that horse so much so that its on its way to the glue factory. 

What I wanted to talk about was how humbled I was to help out flood victims.  After the September flooding from the remnants of  Hurricane/Tropical Storm Lee, there was a great need for EVERYTHING for the victims.  Many people had water well up into the first and in some cases, even the second stories of their homes.  One of the most heartbreaking areas that I've seen is an area that I drive through practically every day….West Nanticoke.  I drove through there the Monday after the flood and you cannot imagine the devastation.  Here's a picture I snapped of the area near JJ Banko's Seafood:


DURING THE FLOOD (same area, but closer up):

The first day I drove through this area after Rte. 29 reopened, there were piles of rubbish that lined both sides of the street which also lined parts of Rte. 11.  I spied a shed that was moved from one part of a yard to another the flood waters relocated it on top of a fence.  Another shed was nearly out in the middle of the street.  There was no electricity, so none of the traffic lights worked.  The three gas stations in the area had water go up as high as their roof so they were all closed.  Porta-potties were scattered throughout the side streets flooding pretty much ruins everything in your house, including the plumbing, right down to the studs.  My eyes welled up with tears.  It was hard to see the people cleaning out their houses.  I was compelled to just pull over, put my car in park, throw caution to the wind and start helping.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you the last time that I've had a tetanus shot, and with my track record with needles, its not something that I look forward to getting.  I also am short on time with this new schedule.  There had to be another way to help the victims out, I thought to myself.

Along comes,  The website was posted in the Wyoming Valley 2011 Flood page that I helped administer on Facebook.  The website promised to be a portal where people with needs could connect with people offering up items for donations.  I immediately went to the website and posted an ad. I knew exactly what I could donate!  A few years ago, one of Rich's friends found out that his girlfriend was pregnant…and then he found out he was getting laid off from his job.  At this point, my kiddos had already outgrown most of the baby "stuff" I had lying around.  We offered it to him and he graciously accepted.  Recently, we received most of the furniture back as his child is getting older.  It has been sitting in my garage taking up space and collecting dust most of the summer.  There was a lot of misc stuff.  I had a crib mattress, a walker, a changing table, a stroller travel system w/ extra base, a travel swing, and a high chair.  We had also loaned out 2 pack and plays, which I thought we got back, but it turns out the person we lent them out to is still using them.  Finally, last Friday, I received an email from the NEPAConnect website from a volunteer at the Tilbury Fire Company, which is not too far from where JJ Banko's is (pictured above). 

The story goes like this:  Someone in West Nanticoke who is raising her grandson (6 months old), lost EVERYTHING in the flood.  She needed everything, but especially stuff to care for her grandson.  With the lack of sleep that I was on, and my horrible schedule, I wasn't able to deliver the stuff until Sunday morning.  I took the stuff to the Tilbury Fire Company, which was setup as a temporary gathering place/cafeteria/donation center.  I walked into the building, which btw, is HUGE (I was never inside of it before), and it was all completely gutted.  Even though the Fire Company sits far back off of the Susquehanna, they still took in about 3 feet of water.  There were workers inside stripping the building down to the studs.  I quickly found the person heading up the donation center "Bonnie".  Bonnie had lost everything in the flood herself, and her house was destroyed as well, but there she was, heading up the donation center….if that isn't commitment, I don't know what is.  I explained to her who I was, and what I had.  Apparently, everyone knew the story of the woman with the baby very well.  I received help unloading some of the items from the jeep and was on my way….but I didn't feel right.  I didn't have a pack and play to give, even though my ad mentioned that I did.  Also, there were only 2 packages of diapers on site.  One was there when I got there, and I brought a package of size 6 diapers that I had left over from right before the kids were potty trained. 

I drove to Old Navy after that and returned a pair of jeans for my daughter that were the wrong size.  I got to thinking that I could probably find a cheap pack and play at *gulp* Wal-Mart as well as cheap diapers.  I stopped there and sure enough, there was a pack and play on sale for 49.99 and diapers (although generic) were 5.99.  I bought two packages of diapers and the pack and play and made my way back to the Fire Company.  I dropped off the items, and was greeted by two people who told me that I had just missed the woman who the donation was for, but she took one look at the items and started to cry.  Of course that made me want to cry as well.  What a humbling thing. 

A few hours later I received this email:

Dear Michelle, So sorry I missed you today. Thank you so much for the stuff. Just so you know it was distributed to 2 women, the one I told you about and the other is due any day. They were so grateful and cried when they recv'd the stuff.  I just wanted to say "Thank You" and to let you know all of the items were given to 2 deserving women.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.                     BXXXXXXXX

I honestly think this is the best most rewarding $60.00 I have spent all year.  The problem with community service is, once you get involved, you realize there are always more people out there that need help.  I always wish there was more I could do to help out.  But, I'm only one person and do what I can.  That is the best I can do, I think.

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Charity Blitz

By M Davies   /     Nov 10, 2010  /     Community Service  /     Comments Off on Charity Blitz

The next two weeks in charitable giving:

Friday 11/12/10 – Volunteering time with co-workers to help stock up the Back Mountain Food Pantry

Saturday 11/20/10 – Volunteering time to march with co-workers at the Wilkes-Barre Santa Clause Parade

Tuesday 11/23/10 – Volunteering time w/ a local radio station to help prepare Thanksgiving Dinner at a local soup kitchen


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Oh my god….

By M Davies   /     Dec 28, 2004  /     Community Service, The Pre-Dooce File  /     0 Comment

I utterly cannot believe the sheer disaster of this tsunami in Asia. I have been watching CNN on and off for the last 24 hours and I cannot believe the destruction that this tidal wave has caused. I guess having a baby now makes me feel a little differently toward these people. There are children that don't have parents and now parents that don't have children. I have no idea how that must feel nor do I ever want to know how that feels. I couldn't imagine having Gabby taken away from me. I plan to donate to some money to one of the relief organizations, I know money won't make it better, but hopefully it can be put to some good use, even if it feeds one person. I urge you (my readers, the few of you) to donate money as well. has setup this link that shows all of the organizations that are providing relief/help to the region. I hate to say this, but the amount of people that have died in this tragedy are about 6 times of that of 911. It is so hard to imagine that because the devastation of 911 was so great, I never thought that another disaster would ever come close to the loss and devastation of that, but it puts things into perspective. I know you really cannot compare the two disasters, but 22,000 dead is just insane. I am just amazed and speechless. The worst part of all of this is those people had no warning system in place. They had no idea this tidal wave was coming until they heard it, then they had roughly 5 minutes to escape. The thought that this may have been prevented is inconceivable. So in closing, please donate something (anything, even if a few dollars) to one of these organizations, you know the money will go to a good cause.

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