Dan Sheehan has been a reporter since 1990 and a staff writer at The Morning Call since 2004.

Dan Sheehan

Dan Sheehan

In The Burbs

Jesus returns to Emmaus church

Jesus returns to Emmaus church

July 8, 2014

I was glad to see Jesus has returned to my church. He had been gone for about six months.

  • Divining the dowser at the Kutztown Folk Festival

    July 1, 2014

    What a day to meet a dowser. The clouds were high and bulky, the sun was hot and the Kutztown Folk Festival loudspeakers were pumping out the classics:

  • Living life in jig time

    June 24, 2014

    For a while, Irish dancing was a bona fide phenomenon, storming America on the jackhammer heels of Michael Flatley and the thunderous cast of "Riverdance" and its imitators.

  • Iconic Emmaus church putting a polish on bell tower

    June 17, 2014

    Sometimes, as I walk the dog after supper, the bells at Emmaus Moravian Church start chiming.

  • Visiting the VFW, with all due respect

    June 3, 2014

    On Monday I was lucky enough to be assigned to a news conference by Sen. Bob Casey up at the VFW Post 7293 in Whitehall Township.

  • Bethlehem's Great Southside Sale lives up to its name

    May 27, 2014

    Inside the cavernous and dimly lit Windish Hall in south Bethlehem on Tuesday, a handful of volunteers were sorting, folding, labeling and otherwise arranging a collection of goods so massive and eclectic that I don't know quite how to describe it.

  • Stuck with a lemon, Breinigsville man makes lemonade

    May 20, 2014

    By the time he started riding the unicycle in his driveway, I figured I'd gotten a pretty good sense of what Alan Blickley was all about.

  • To local faithful, 'black mass' no match for power of prayer

    May 13, 2014

    Up at Harvard, the good guys won.

  • South Whitehall man beats disease, earns two degrees

    May 6, 2014

    I didn't know what to expect from Nick Sandercock. All I knew is that he'd had his colon removed in a radical cure for a tormenting disease, and was going to graduate Lehigh Carbon Community College and the University of Pennsylvania in the same month.

  • Center Valley couple living in a stained-glass world

    April 29, 2014

    Roland Dedekind lives in a cozy ranch house in Center Valley with his wife, Phyllis, and a couple of small, sweet dogs. One of the dogs is named Gulley after a character in "The Horse's Mouth," a novel-made-movie about a somewhat disreputable artist named Gulley Jimson. I forget the other dog's name but neither of them enter into the story after this, so no matter.

  • North Whitehall BBQ truck a smokin' hot issue

    April 23, 2014

    I talked to a man named Tex Wells who is preparing for a big showdown, but it's not at high noon and it's not at the OK Corral or in Dodge City or Tombstone or anything like that.

  • Goodbye, Mrs. Vines

    April 15, 2014

    Not long after we moved to Emmaus, we discovered Martha Vines. She was the children's librarian at the borough library, and it was immediately obvious that she had been put on Earth to be this very thing.

  • From his perch in South Whitehall, a master gardener records spring unfolding

    April 8, 2014

    Like more than a few of you, I endured the Late Unpleasantness — the winter — with all the resiliency and mental toughness of a certain Phillies relief pitcher, which means I fell to pieces toward the end.

  • Running to remember a Parkland mom, friend and fellow runner

    April 1, 2014

    Looking to celebrate a bright life that ended, suddenly and stunningly, on a Washington Township road, Angela Pope's family and friends are planning to turn the upcoming St. Luke's Half Marathon & 5K a lovely shade of purple.

  • For NCC students, a spring break stay-cation

    March 18, 2014

    The spirit of spring break can't be conquered. When a Northampton Community College student named Moog learned the Bethlehem Township school was canceling its break to make up snow days from this endless winter, he didn't take it lying down.

  • Fun with food at the Forks YMCA

    March 11, 2014

    Once in a while you have to leave your cares behind and do something to restore the soul. For instance, you can watch a bunch of 4- and 5-year-olds make breakfast burritos.

  • From the Burbs mailbox, winter poems

    February 25, 2014

    Last week I had a shudder of madness about winter and spent the afternoon composing limericks and double dactyls instead of doing an honest day's work. I used the poems in my column and invited readers to submit their own, and I'm happy to report that several did.

  • There once was a snow-addled columnist …

    February 18, 2014

    On Tuesday morning, after we had been informed by robo call of Snow Day Number Eleventy for the children, I drove to work through the ice and slush and sat down at my desk and decided I was finished, utterly and forever finished, with winter.

  • Colossal 'ice tree' rooted in civic rebellion

    February 11, 2014

    It was mere coincidence — or was it? — that when I arrived at the Stellar home in Heidelberg Township, the letter carrier was dropping off a box labeled "Insanity."

  • Hell-raisers in Emmaus

    February 4, 2014

    I had to work on Sunday and was having a jolly time making fun of Punxsutawney Phil and suchlike marmots of doom when my wife informed me that someone had set fire to a statue of Jesus outside our church, St. Ann in Emmaus.

  • When winter goes to your head

    January 28, 2014

    Pages from a winter diary:

  • Boo Boo's gone, but his memory lives on

    January 21, 2014

    It was a drizzly, foggy, dreary Wednesday, which made it just the right sort of day to go see Glenn and Kim Miller and hear the sad story of Boo Boo the steer.

  • In the vortex, with a pencil

    January 7, 2014

    I went out early Tuesday to have a look at the "polar vortex," the latest forecasting catch phrase to emanate from the people who bring us the weather.

  • Today, put some pork on your fork

    December 31, 2013

    A pig roots away from itself, a chicken scratches toward itself. And that's why everyone in this part of Pennsylvania, and all the other parts where Germans settled, will be digging into pork and sauerkraut today instead of fried chicken, baked chicken, broiled chicken or any other sort of chicken.

  • When snow days were charmed and rare

    December 11, 2013

    Like so many of you, I deeply envy and resent my children.

  • Stranded in Emmaus: 2,250 Christmas tree lights

    December 3, 2013

    Serendipity strikes again. I drove through downtown Emmaus on Tuesday morning and found Sam Yoder and Jason Kleckner in the middle of a cheery annual chore, decorating the borough Christmas tree in Triangle Park.

  • Ten thousand ways to help

    November 26, 2013

    In this space I've generally avoided writing about retailers, other than the mom-and-pop variety. The big chains don't need any help from me, and I wouldn't give it to them anyway, because mega-commercialism of the Walmart/Target/Best Buy variety has turned the American landscape into a homogenous, ugly lump.

  • Weaving good cheer for kids in chemo

    November 19, 2013

    There's a great gulf between a childish imagination and a child's imagination.

  • Racing lover Jeremy Grim's final lap is funeral procession

    November 5, 2013

    They did the nicest thing for Jeremy Grim at his funeral. You couldn't have imagined a nicer thing, or a more fitting one.

  • Easton firefighters warm hearts with warm coats

    October 29, 2013

    The children gathered outside Easton's Paxinosa Elementary School on Tuesday looked bright as tiddlywinks in their brand-new winter coats, the boys in green and blue and gray and the girls in purple and pink.

  • At Parkland, pumpkins chucked for charity

    October 22, 2013

    How far you can chuck a pumpkin has more to do with the pumpkin than with you.

  • Burlesque Starr, 80, still shines

    October 15, 2013

    Penny Starr called and I was pleased to hear from her, because she was one of the best interviews I ever had.

  • Whither the ghosts of the King George Inn?

    October 8, 2013

    After a week of August-in-October, it was pleasant to go to work Tuesday morning and feel a chill in the air. It made me notice that some of the trees are turning, and the Halloween tombstones and skeletons that have sprouted from front lawns and porches these past days no longer seem so out of place and premature.

  • Generosity from a stranger in Germany

    October 1, 2013

    Kathryn Bauer spent 35 years as an analyst and executive at a business services firm, then jumped wholeheartedly into the kind of retirement everyone dreams about: traveling, volunteering, taking college courses, gardening and generally living life away from alarm clocks and deadlines.

  • Kasper the Friendly Horse needs a helping hand

    September 24, 2013

    There's a farm in Heidelberg Township where 17 beautiful horses and a cute but mischievous donkey live the life of Riley, or whatever the equine equivalent to that would be. The life of Mr. Ed, maybe, though beyond the occasional whinny I never heard a peep out of any of them when I visited last week.

  • For Sonya Siegfried, the past is ever present

    September 17, 2013

    As I talked to Sonya Siegfried, I started to forget the main reason for my visit, which was to discuss her election last month as the second woman to serve as president of the Lehigh County Historical Society.

  • Konkrete Kids mascot has racist origins, petitioner contends

    September 10, 2013

    Years ago, there was a television commercial about spaghetti sauce. In it, three children answer a question: "Who makes the best spaghetti?"

  • Lamenting the loss of a poet's voice

    September 3, 2013

    Some things settle in the mind for good. I remember little else about high school, but I remember with perfect clarity the day I spent at a poetry conference at Adelphi University on my native Long Island.

  • A new trail beckons the visually impaired

    August 27, 2013

    The last time I visited the Wildlands Conservancy's Pool Wildlife Sanctuary was to write about a naming contest for the new skunk. It was a fun story, if a bit trifling. The skunk, dubbed Smudge, would probably have been happy with any old name.

  • Recalling a long-ago misfortune for a gypsy clan

    August 20, 2013

    There are Gypsies in America, and I don't mean the migratory hucksters who pass through this area every spring and fall offering phony driveway repairs and other scams.

  • Parkland High grad chronicling 1,100-mile journey on bicycle

    August 13, 2013

    Alan Fritzinger would sometimes take a long hike or long bike ride and wonder what it would be like if he didn't have to turn around right away, if he could just head into the sunset and do who knows what and end up who knows where.

  • A quiet evening in North Whitehall

    August 6, 2013

    When I arrived at The Morning Call almost a decade ago after many years at other newspapers, I became a general assignment reporter. That meant I was there to be sicced on the news of the day, to come up with ideas of my own and to peck away at one project or another.

  • A farmer in Coplay makes the most of it

    July 30, 2013

    Betty Kramer called last week and said we ought to check out her husband's garden at their home in Coplay, because with supermarket prices the way they are, everyone ought to have a garden, and you'd be surprised how many fruits and vegetables you can coax out of a little bit of land.

  • In Easton, a centenarian bridge player is feted by her friends

    July 23, 2013

    Ruth Schaeffer, who turned 100 on Friday, had her fifth birthday party in a row on Tuesday. This one was thrown by her friends in the Easton Bridge Club, where she is as keen a competitor today as when she began playing bridge as a college freshman in 1931.

  • On a hot night, subzero fun

    July 16, 2013

    When I arrived at the Whitehall Township Public Library on Tuesday night, my car thermometer told me it was 98 degrees. This may or may not have been accurate, but it seemed close enough as I trudged inside to check out an event that promised, in the end, to deliver ice cream.





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