Dear Dr. Scribblerdry:

Did you know the Prohibition Party held its national convention in Lancaster County in June 1999? It was in Bird-in-Hand. It’s interesting enough seein’s how more and more bars are poppin’ up in the county seat.

The Prohibition Party has nominated a candidate in every election since 1872. It’s the third oldest party in existence today, after “D’s” and “R’s.”

Rich Stewart


Dear Rich:

Timely question, Rich. The 18th Amendment banning alcohol was ratified a century ago last week. The new law gave prohibitionists a huge, though temporary, victory. So it goes.

The Scribbler does remember the Bird-in-Hand convention, for two reasons. First, he was born and raised in Bird-in-Hand, and anything that happens there interests him. Second, some of his ancestors were prohibitionists.

The Scribbler’s great-grandfather, O.D. Brubaker, a lifetime abstainer, chaired the Lancaster County Prohibition Committee before the 18th Amendment passed. The Scribbler’s grandfather, J. Harold Brubaker, only tasted alcohol once, when he drank a champagne toast to celebrate the Scribbler’s birth as his first grandchild. He said the drink was not agreeable and he never repeated it.

Abstinence ended with that generation.

But getting back to the 1999 convention. The Prohibitionists met here to nominate Earl P. Dodge of Lakewood, Colorado, for president in large part because the late George Ormsby, of Chester County, a former vice presidential nominee put forth by the party, had worked in Mount Joy in the 1940s and met his wife, Miriam Ginter, here. He had other associations with Lancaster.

Lancaster has an older, more prominent connection with the Prohibition Party. At that first convention in 1872, the party nominated Lancaster attorney James Black for president. Black also helped found the Washingtonian Society, a temperance organization, and the International Order of Good Templars, a Masonic lodge for abstainers.

Black lost the 1872 election to Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was a binge drinker, according to Ron Chernow’s new biography, and alcoholism “haunted his career.” It will be interesting to see what historians say about the effect of lifelong abstention on our current president.

Dear Dr. Scribblerroad:

I’ve been reading about UGI moving its headquarters to Colonel Howard Boulevard in East Cocalico Township. So who was Colonel Howard?

Jed Kensinger

LNP Staff

Dear Jed:

Col. Howard was George Howard, a Reamstown native who served as commander of the U.S. Army Air Force Band and Orchestra from World War II until he retired in 1963.

He played clarinet and saxophone as a youth and earned his doctorate from the Chicago Conservatory of Music.

Under Howard’s direction, the Air Force Band became one of the most renowned bands in the world. After Glenn Miller died in 1944, Howard’s band stepped in for the Glenn Miller Band radio broadcasts.

Following retirement from the Air Force, Howard led the Washington Police Band for 10 years.

The Pennsylvania Legislature renamed Spur Road, the four-lane highway leading from Route 272 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, in 2004. The official name of the road is Colonel George Howard Boulevard.

Dear Dr. Scribblerair:

In reference to the hanging of bedding out the window (Scribbler column, Jan. 16). I grew up hanging the bedding out of the window every time we cleaned, which was often Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Many of our neighbors in Brownstown during the years before we got rid of the wringer washing machines also had this habit. As a child, I never really thought of it as having to do with the chore of doing laundry.

Many winter days the sheets and other wash were hung in the attic to dry. Blankets and spreads were simply aired, most often out the window. During that time, most people, not only Amish, used this method to keep the bedding fresh.

Susan Heil


Jack Brubaker, retired from the LNP staff, writes “The Scribbler” column every Wednesday. He welcomes comments and contributions at