The Horse Painter

Palmerton artist lives a life of agony and ecstacy.

Do you like to paint horses?

“Oh, yeah!” ecstatically responds 49-year-old Patti Delong of Palmerton as she points to a photorealistic acrylic painting displayed at the Carbon County Art Show. “Especially when I can paint horses the way these are coming out.”

Man O'War's legacy- War Admiral & Seabiscuit donated to Horse Rescue organizationShe has a warm spot in her heart for horses and in this painting Delong honors three of the world’s greatest racehorses: legendary chestnut Thoroughbred Man O’War, his son – triple crown winner – War Admiral, and his grandson – the winner of the greatest match race in American history – Seabiscuit.

Delong once owned horses. She once rode a motorcycle. Now there are days that she cannot even hold a paintbrush much less walk up several steps.

Over the past twenty years a combination of wrist, knee and shoulder problems led to nearly twenty surgeries—many improving the immediate problem but introducing a debilitating long-term problem.

Delong describes herself as having a tendency towards developing scar tissue. Each time she has an operation, the disturbed area reforms as an enlarged stiff scar.

It started in 1984 with her first operation—to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. It was just before carpal tunnel became better known because of this syndrome developing amongst computer users.

Delong thinks it runs in her family. After she had the operation, both her brother and sister had to have their carpal tunnels operated on. But by then, their surgeons needed to cut only one inch on each wrist. Delong’s surgeon cut four inches on each wrist—with the extra distance extending into the palms of her hands. When her surgery healed, the resulting scarring made painting difficult. Attempts to correct this problem led to further surgeries and further scarring.

Delong was diagnosed with arthritis in her knees – both her parents have this problem – and arthritis in the rotator cuff of her right shoulder. But while she can still hold a paintbrush in her right hand, her shoulder is often too weak or painful to support it when she works on an easel.

“There are days that I can’t paint,” said Delong. “There are times that my paintbrush will flip up and go airborne. It hurts but I’m not going to stop.”

Delong was born in Catasauqua in 1956, graduated from Catasauqua High School and studied commercial art at North Hampton County Area Community College. She worked at Tarkett Flooring as a photo-engraver until laid off in 1985 when she found work on a highway construction project. On the side, Delong painted motorcycle gas tanks for a local dealer.

She took a job taking care of 28 Arabian horses at a Danielsville horse farm. Soon, she fenced her yard and bought her first horse, an Arabian. “I broke the Arabian myself,” Delong said as her mind seemed to wander to a happier time. “Oh no. I didn’t do the bucking bronco thing. He just stood there and I was so happy.”

By 1990, the worsening condition of her hands and knees made riding impossible. So she sold the Arabian. “But I had this property with a fence all around and nothing out there, so I got an older quarter horse—just to mow the grass,” said Delong. “He was fun. You don’t have to ride a horse to have fun.” When he got too old, Delong got her last horse, a Tennessee Walker.

Two years ago when she could neither walk up her front steps nor afford the horse, she faced up to the fact that she would soon be living without the animal that she so dearly loved.

She moved in with her sister to a house in Palmerton once owned by her mother’s parents. And Delong began to paint horses.

She has painted a series of famous racehorses. “They would make a terrific calendar,” she said.

A current favorite among her paintings of horses is one of Singletary – winner of the Breeder’s Cup, a horse that bullied its way through the pack to win a $1.54 million purse at odds of 17 – 1.

The well-muscled Singletary, got its name from equally well-muscled Hall of Fame Chicago Bears linebacker, Mike Singletary.

Delong envisioned a scene of the linebacker floating in a cloud above the racehorse. She painted the jockey and the horse’s blanket in the Chicago Bears colors of navy, orange and white to bind the characters to one another and painted a 5 on the blanket and a zero on the bridle. Mike Singletary’s number is 50. “I guess the owners of Singletary, just liked Mike,” Delong figured.

Unfortunately, when people think racehorses, they do not think of Carbon County, and consequently, even the best paintings of racehorses don’t sell very well locally.

She has made some sales on eBay. But eBay is a little like horseracing as Delong noted, “Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes I lost my shirt.”

20 Years of Remembrances

Rosemarys Remembrances Bed & Breakfast Country InnIn 2005, one of Jim Thorpe’s most unique and celebrated establishments, Rosemary Remembrances, celebrated 20 years of service to the area.  At that time, local author, Al Zagofsky, wrote an incredible piece on the history of the store and all it’s meant to the city.

Unfortunately, due to server issues, the article was lost and we regret that we are no longer able to recover it.  If Al is able to contact us, we will happily republish the article here and give him full credit.  Until then, we will dedicate this page to telling you more about this great store.

Art and Collectibles

Rosemary’s Remembrances has some of the most unique commissioned art, collectibles, homewares and heirlooms you will find. They have collected quite an assortment of items from the past and the present – from chic to unique. If you want to find a very unique and distinctive piece for your home, this place is the best.


Our “One Stop Herb-Shop”

Rosemary’s Remembrances is also host to the area’s oldest retail/wholesale herbal store The Rosemary House.

Whether you’re looking for some unique teas, live plant seeds, or just want to pick up some of their namesake herb, The Rosemary House will be sure to deliver exactly what you’re looking for.

There are books, essential oils, virtually everything you need for improving your quality of life.

Being a family run business, you are sure to get loads of personal attention as well.

Quaint Bed And Breakfast Living

If you are so inclined, Rosemary Remembrances also offers a fully furnished, private studio apartment that is available to rent (or lease) by the day, week, weekend or month. It could be the start of a perfect getaway weekend to a beautiful part of the Pocono Mountains.


The Lattimer Massacre

Where Bullets Met Strikers

In Pennsylvania’s worst labor tragedy, nineteen died and dozens were seriously wounded when a corrupt Sheriff, and deputies pulled from the coal mine police, fired upon immigrant mine workers peacefully marching towards Lattimer, Pennsylvania.

Today, the patch town of Lattimer, Pennsylvania is a quiet hamlet where about 460 people mow their lawns and work on their hobbies. Other than the monument at the intersection of Main and Quality Streets, the gated dirt road to the burned down colliery, and the sign “Lattimer Mines” above the Post Office, there is little that either remains or is a reminder of the worst labor tragedy in Pennsylvania’s history.

On September 10, 1897 a group of over 400 striking miners marched toward the Lattimer mine and colliery at Lattimer, outside of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The coal operations, run by the Pardee family had hired Poles, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, and Lithuanians with the expectation that because they did not speak a common language, they would not be able to organize.
But the common bond of low pay, poor working conditions, unsafe practices and restriction to purchases at the company store made these mine workers feel they were no better than slaves. With organizers that could speak the several languages, the miners organized and went on strike.
To gather additional workers to join their strike, the miners marched to the coal mines in the Hazleton area. On September 10, they marched toward Lattimer.
The Pardee Company summoned Sheriff James L. Martin and helped provide 87 deputies from among the Coal & Iron Police and from among the anti-immigrant men at a local bar. The deputies were well armed including the newest 16 shot Winchester rifles—which they loaded with either No. 8 shot or steel-jacketed ammunition.
Jean Blass of Hazleton, now 81, learned about the Lattimer Massacre when she received a letter from her great uncle Dominic Marsilio (later changed to Marsello.) The letter was received about two years before Marsilio died at the age of 90 in 1976. The following is the text of the letter describing what Marsilio witnessed on that fateful day. (The text has been edited for clarity.)

Lattimer Massacre Letter

Dear Niece Jean,
In your letter you suggested to give you information in reference to the Lattimer Mines Massacre around late September 1897. I was in my 13th year of age.
On that afternoon at 2:00 P.M., news came about the United Mine Workers of America —John Mitchell was the President. The union members were on strike in other mining towns.
This unlucky day, the Sheriff and his men after two weeks vigilance had told the striking men not to come to Lattimer but they came anyway in spite of the warning.
They were on the roadway walking with their coats in their arms and that sheriff gave orders to shoot. The men fell like rats—a pity sight. I saw them lying in among the briers near a gum berry tree. It was a miniature war.
There had prepared six or eight open trolley cars with stretchers and slats. They picked up the bodies, placed them in the cars, and brought them to the Hazleton morgues. They were mostly Orthodox Russian and Polish men.
My sister and I went to see them at the funeral parlors. Most of them were buried at the cemetery near your old home about three or four blocks next to Vine Street.
I will never forget this reminder of the gum berry tree. The other boys and I used to go and pick berries in season during school recess. Our schoolteacher, she was a widow and very severe towards the boys. She didn’t spare the chestnut switches the day the massacre took place. She went to help. She ripped her undergown for bandages. She was seen by the Company authorities. The result was that she lost her job as a schoolteacher. Her son, who worked on a steam shovel, also lost out.
Also the strikers were Catholics and the Deputies were Protestants. No one was punished for the massacre. That night a telephone call was received at the Company office that strikers were coming to burn the town. Every or most of the people left their home barefooted and blankets over their shoulders.
The following day, the State National Guard came. The whole occurrence was uncalled for. Those days all companies were harsh to their people.
You wonder why I left for better possibilities. I told my father I was leaving when I turned 16.

Massacre Aftermath

It is estimated that 150 shots were fired. Officially, 19 were killed and 38 severely wounded. For fear or reprisals, many of the wounded avoided going to the hospital and were never counted.
Rather than stop the union movement, it spurred it on with 1,500 joining the strike.
In 1972, on the 75th anniversary of the Lattimer Massacre, a monument was erected at the entrance to Lattimer on property donated by Jean Blass’ sister, Amelia Cherko, and her husband Albert.
The inscription on the monument erected at Lattimer reads, “It was not a battle because they were not aggressive, nor were they defensive because they had no weapons of any kind and were simply shot down like so many worthless objects, each of the licensed life-takers trying to outdo the others in butchery.”