It was a cold January day, Wednesday, to be exact. I was off to interview a young lady who had recently celebrated a special day - her 100 th birthday. As I drove to a senior facility, I thought about a conversation starter and a few questions I would ask. In my mind, I thought, would she be willing to share her life with me?
I arrived, walked down the hall, and entered the room of Julia Kutos. I took one look, shook her hand, and instantly, the room filled with a warmth that radiated, touching every heart that entered.
Julia dressed in a royal blue sweater adorned by a silver pennant, and light blue slacks, was ready to share. Her soft blue eyes filled with so much love, started the conversation by talking about her family. As she spoke about her two daughters, Delores and Margaret (Peggy), Julia pointed to pictures on her dresser, taking our chat on a great adventure. She continued by sharing that one of her daughters was a model for Bethlehem Steel. Julia is a grandmother to three and a great- grandmother to two. It was particularly touching as she held a 50 th musical wedding anniversary plaque, gazing at a small picture of she and her husband. Julia lost in the moment was quiet, as if remembering the many years of love and
marriage to Stephen.
Julia was born at home and raised in Catasauqua. Her parents were born in Czechoslovakia. She has one sister who is 97 years young. As a child, she liked playing games like hopscotch. One of her earliest memory was the first day of first grade. Then she added, “When I was in high school, my father wanted to build a ladder against the back fence. Then all I would have needed to do was climb over and go up the steps.”
Growing up, she helped tend her parent’s garden and learned how to preserve fruits and vegetables while watching her mother work in the kitchen. Julia recalled everything was fresh when she was a child. She continued her love of gardening for years to come.
Julia shared that her first job was to babysit, where she earned fifty- cents. She smiled as she said, “ I should have framed that fifty-cents!” Later in life, she worked in a ribbon factory in Catasauqua.
Julia loved to shop! Especially at Hess’s. Along with shopping, she always enjoyed dancing and still does, traveling, which included two trips to Europe, reading the newspaper from cover to cover, playing the scratch-offs, bingo, and singing. In fact, she sang a beautiful song in Slavic. It was a song her mother had taught her as a child.
I asked Julia two last questions before I left. “What is the biggest change you have seen in your one-hundred- years?” She did not to hesitate to answer, “ The children are spoiled. They have too much. It was different when I was growing up.” Then I asked, “ What advice would you give a twenty- year- old person today?” Her response, “ Don’t drink!”
After the interview, I asked this remarkable, sharp as a tack, sweet, talkative, friendly, loving woman if I could have a hug. She reached up, and I reached down, putting our arms around each other. As we hugged, I could feel her love for life.
Driving home, I thought about the era that encompassed Julia’s life: eighteen presidents, the stock market crash leading to the Great Depression, World War Two, Korea, and every conflict to the present day. She read first- hand about segregation, the Space Needle, and every invention since the turn of the century Of course, I cannot forget the change in ladies’ fashions over the decades.
Julia Kutos is a beautiful woman filled with wisdom, a good sense of humor, and a loving heart who treats everyone she meets as if she had known them all her life. I, Cynthia Deluca, am honored to now call this sweet 100-year young woman, my friend.
By: Cynthia Deluca
Photo By: Greg Morgan
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The Nazareth Girls Basketball Team went over to the PPL Center on February 11th to play Stroudsburg in the League Semifinals and won the game 44-38 to reach the League Championship on February 13th against Bethlehem Catholic and fell short in the game 34-28 but played their hearts out the whole game and will now rest for Districts that will start up on Friday February 21st vs a team to be announced on Sunday. Special Congrats to Kelly Leszcynski on winning the Stacy Perryman Most Outstanding Player Award and Tayla Brugler on being the EPC Most Vaulable Player.
The Nazareth Swimming Team had their last regular swim meet vs Stroudsburg on February 13th where the Boys won the meet but the Girls came up short in the Swim Meet.
For up to the minute sports news, check out my website
Have a great Week Blue Eagles Fans!
For this Councilwoman, serving her community comes naturally.
Looking very distinguished and chic in a navy blue suit, Councilwoman Jessica Teel Sadler confidently stood in front of her constituents, ready to face one of her toughest crowds yet: her son's third grade class.
After a brief description of what a council person's job entails and how they help the public, a legion of little eager arms shot up with frantically waving hands, ready and armed with questions.
"Is your job fun?" asked the first inquiring young mind.
"Yes, it IS fun." the Councilwoman enthusiastically replied.
That simple answer encapsulated the politician's attitude and approach to her public service career.
When asked how she became interested in being part of the local government, the 37yr old mother and account executive replied "I was looking for something to do for my community...I wanted to bring a different demographic- a different perspective to the council."
The auspicious Nazareth native is unique not only because she is the third woman to serve on the Borough's Town Council, but also one of it's youngest members. Appointed in 2016 and elected in 2018, Teel Sadler represents the Second Ward and currently leads the Borough's Finance Committee.
In addition to the Finance Committee, she is also the Borough's representative to the Nazareth Council of Governments (COG), a group created to form a network between the surrounding municipalities for communication and information.
One of her most recent contributions to the Borough was establishing a "Trap Neuter Release" program in partnership with No Nonsense Neutering, a Lehigh Valley non-profit group whose purpose is to help control animal overpopulation.
"Being a good councilperson takes a sense of duty and a passion for change. You have to be comfortable challenging the old way of thinking 'this is the way it has always been done.'”
Although she hasn't committed to running for council again at the end of her term, Teel Sadler said she sees herself continuing her political career.
What does she like best about her job? "Meeting new people. Every day you learn something. I love having the ability to influence change in a positive way and be part of the solution to issues facing our community."
The Councilwoman said it best when asked how she chose her career, "I don't think I chose it. It chose me."
By: Dawn Dudeck Tunney
Photo By: Greg Morgan