When I first heard that the Governor was instituting a two-week “stay at home” period due to Covid-19, it reminded me of two things: Monday Wash Days, because he was closing all Laundromats, and an article I read once that  dealt with the mindset of prisoners in long term lock down, experiencing  torture and the killing of prisoners in adjacent cells, not  knowing what their fate would be. Clearly an experience far beyond that which we are  beginning to experience, yet similar in the unknown and unfamiliar (and for some of us, perhaps, the same dread of being shut in, and many others the dread of dying)

The prisoners who did survive seemed to depend on re-experiencing pleasant events and memories in their lives that inspired them.  Thinking about being rescued was illogical given their circumstances. They needed something real in the face of hopelessness. In short, their  stories, the  big and little events that had happened in their lives that could  bring relief, maybe some joy, but always a reaffirmation of who they were. 

Today I asked my mother for a fond memory of  hers to take  her mind off the virus – She is 94. She immediately told me how she and her father would take these very long hikes when she was only about 8  years old. I  wrote it down for her it’s called “Tom Boy” and it appears below  with “Monday Wash Days”. The point is that mom and I started talking about  things that inspired us, things that took our minds off the current crisis,  memories we  shared that we wouldn’t have done without the current  circumstances. It was an  exercise we loved and because of it I found out things about her I  never knew - she considered herself a tomboy and her father nicknamed her Sport! 

We all have stories to tell. It’s been proven  that one very successful way of living through enforced isolation and loss of  control is to  recall, and then tell, our stories. Those little cherished  memories that bring smiles to our faces when we re-experience them, and how satisfying  it is to tell them to someone else!  

The Pocono Center for the Arts is  certainly multi faceted, encompassing all the art forms, including  writing.  Stephen DeAngelis, our producing Artistic Director, is currently releasing  videos of our previous performers, with introductions which we are  releasing  via our email list and social media platforms to keep us informed  as a community. Rich, PCFTA Co-Founder and I wanted a way to add something interactive to Stephens’s initiative.

That said, we are creating a platform where  people can send  in their own little stories. Simple messages of past experiences  that have  either inspired us or etched in our minds a lasting memory - not the current messages we find on FaceBook! We are encouraging everyone to write their own little stories or transcribe someone else’s and share them with us.

PCFTA is going to self publish a book entitled  “2020 in the  Poconos”. There will be scores of books written about this phase of our history – we want our Pocono family to have their own memories and memories of their friends and family no matter where they live, something very positive that we all took part in during this time of isolation and social distancing.

Please send your story in a word document if possible to skip@pcfta.org Please include your first and last name, Town, State and Date. “2020 in the Poconos” will be illustrated by Pocono Artists. Local talented writers will offer assistance in coaching and or editing . Stories will be added to this site as they are submitted.   

Check out our main website    www.poconocenterforthearts.org 



When I was a little boy, we lived on Second Street in Frenchtown, NJ,  in a two story cold water double house with outhouses for bathrooms. My Aunt and uncle lived on the other side with my 5 cousins. I had a  younger brother         and a younger sister.

I loved Mondays because Monday was Wash Day. It was loaded with lots of excitement, and a parade of activities.
It started out with mom wheeling out the big  wringer washing  machine. It was monstrous to me, especially with those large wringers that squeezed the life out  of our clothes. I often wondered what would happen if I fed them a banana or  sandwich.

There was a big cast iron stove in the middle of the room  which she would use to heat a large pot she filled with water from our kitchen  sink. She would do this several times during the day. The washer made a lot of  noise and it shook a lot. She would eventually stop it and take  out the clothes, one by one, squeeze them by hand and then feed them into the big  rubber rollers. It was great fun to watch, especially with all the  water all over the  place. She also used the mop a lot.

Next came the really fun stuff. Everything  had to be taken  out side for drying. There were a couple clothes lines that she  would attach the clothes to with wooden clothes pins which I loved to push on  my fingers.   

The best part was to watch her put the metal stretchers into the pants, then finally hanging the pants with the stretchers pushed inside the legs. On windy days it looked like men flying in mid-air.

Monday wash day was such an exciting show for a little boy.

Skip Scheetz 

Stroudsburg PA March 2020


I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but  one day when I was about 8 years old my father wanted to take a very long hike.  We had moved from Easton Pa to Weatherly, Pa. Pop always took very long hikes when he wasn’t hunting. That particular day, I  suppose he asked if  anyone wanted to go along and I jumped at the chance. He said it  would be a very hard hike and very far, but I adored my father and welcomed  the chance to be alone with him. We had a large family, four sisters and two brothers. Pop always treated us all as equals, and there were no favorites in our         house, so this  time alone was very special especially since we had moved to a new place. where I had to make new friends. 

The thing I remember most about the first couple times we made the hike to Lehighton was the total exhaustion. I was so tired and sore but was afraid to say anything for fear he would not take me again. My father worked for the railroad so we had passes to get back home.

Those hikes alone with my father are some of my most cherished memories I had growing up – both naughty and nice. Naughty that I was the only one he took and feeling privileged to go. The hikes lasted all morning over four hours then the welcomed train ride home. Endless conversations on so many topics, many forgotten of course, but the feelings remain etched in my soul.

After 2 years or so we moved back to Easton so the hikes stopped. But all the  memories remain someplace in my subconscious mind, and I’m forever grateful for the, time we shared alone. I loved being daddy’s little red haired tomboy he lovingly nicknamed Sport.  

Sara Cooley-Gramauskis 

Stroudsburg Pa    March 2020