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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dick Cowen: Why We Have No-Fault Divorce

Retired Morning Call reporter Dick Cowen has learned why we now have no-fault divorce. Here's his ditty.

There used to be a column labeled Out of Lehigh's Past that ran in The Call for a time. Here's one bit that was missed, tucked away in a Lehigh County divorce file that is tucked away at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Center (nee Lehigh County Historical Society):

In 1900, married couple Frank and Mary Ritter were no longer living together. She had her own place. A helpful young neighbor told the husband that Mary was letting people in her house "that had no business there. I told him he should attend to it and get a divorce." It seemed a chap named Knauss was a frequent visitor at Mary's, even helping to install a screen door.

The husband advised the helpful neighbor to talk to his (Mr. Ritter's) lawyer, T.F. Diefenderfer. "I told him (Diefenderfer) what I had seen. The lawyer told me to watch a little bit. I then did watch. I made it my business and then did watch.

"After that, I saw Mrs. Ritter and Mr. Knauss come home . . . about ten minutes after twelve on a Saturday night. They both went into the house. I soon saw a light upstairs in her front room.

"Then, I got a ladder, climbed up and looked into the window. The painter had left it (the ladder) in my yard.

"I put the ladder at the front of her house. I looked into the room through (the) fly-screen. The shade was about two or three inches from the bottom. There was a light in the room. I saw Mrs. Ritter undressed there and Mr. Knauss undressed. Then, Mrs. Ritter went into bed and Mr. Knauss, too. into the same bed. I did not wait to see what was going on further.

"I took the ladder away and sat down on my alley-step and put the ladder in my alley. I waited till Mr. Knauss came out. . .at a quarter to one o'clock."

So much for neighborliness.

Remember, you heard it first on WKAP


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Angle and Stoffa.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's getting old.

Anonymous said...

Diefenderfer, Knauss. I love old Allentown stories because of the PA Dutch names. This must have been a scandal when the neighbors found out, the Feufenschtucks, Finkbeiners and the Fuchs.