Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Haunt in your House!

   Halloween is still a day away. But you don't have to wait
for a good scare!
   You may have a chill in store observe a
bizarre "holiday" that's scheduled for this pre-Halloween Eve!
   So you're thinking "Mischief Night". right?
   The chill tonight will be coming from something lurking
right in your own house! It may be behind you as you read
this essay!
    You see October 30th is "Haunted Refrigerator Night!"
     Ruth and Thomas Roy came up with this unusual
     They suggest there's no need to go out to one of those
"Haunted Houses" when you could have the scare of a
lifetime waiting right there in your Fridge or Freezer!
      You may or may not have been keeping your
refrigerator closed just in case there's a power outage
in your neighborhood.
      But even if you occasionally reach in for a snack or
a beverage there's a good chance it's been quite awhile
since you really checked all of the items buried inside
that cold vault!
      So here's the plan.
      Turn out the lights.  Perhaps a couple of candles
 would be appropriate.
      Gather around your refrigerator this night…open the door
slowly and take in a deep breath…slowly move things around
and see what is lurking in that container or box buried in there!
      With a little luck you're discover a forgotten treat that's
been safely maintained in its cold surroundings.
       Of course there's also the chance you may be growing
your own penicillin on some leftover that's been forgotten
far too long ago. And that, my friends, is SCARY!
       Either way this is a great setting (and excuse) for a
Haunted Refrigerator Party!
       And mark the date on your calender for next year so
you don't miss it!
       Hope that little light inside is working and that all
your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"I never"

    Halloween is still two days away. But
today, October 29th, is "National Dracula
Bites Day!"
     I never heard of it before. But gone-ta- claims it's celebrated every year
on this date! Possibly since 1931 when the
classic movie Dracula was produced by
Universal Pictures. In fact the "holiday"
may have been created to promote the
     I saw the movie when it was re-released
sometime in the 1940's.
     Sometime after that my Dad, who was
a movie projectionist, brought the star,
Bela Lugosi, to our house. He was making
stage appearances around the country and
came to Hazleton for one of them.
      I have no idea if it was October 29th.
I never saw the guy! I was hiding in my
room. I was probably searching for two
sticks I could hold together in the form of
a cross. As far as I was concerned Dad had
brought Dracula to our home!
       Though it is described as a "National
holiday" there is no record of the
bloodsuckers......I mean.....politicians....
actually creating legislation for this day.
    According to the website the day is an
opportunity to learn all about the history
of Dracula and to have fun with the
spooky character.
    If we're talking about the movie
character that history only covers 83 years.
    If we're talking about the Romanian
Prince, "Vlad the Impaler," we've got to study
back to the 15th century!  I just can't sink
my teeth into that!
     You'll just have to "reflect" on that one!
     Hope you've had your Garlic, and that
all your NEWS is good.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Day At Girl Scout Camp!

   We just couldn't resist. The sun was shining.
The temperature was in the low 60's. So....the
Miata top came down and my wife and I set
out for another adventure to parts unknown.
   As is quite often the case we left with a
general direction rather than a specific
destination in mind.
    Yesterday though, we found ourselves on
a back road seldom traveled. At least by us.
    Since my wife often has a problem telling
right from left I admit I was shocked when,
while driving up a steep mountain road, she
asked if we were near Camp Louise.
     I had no idea if we were or not since, as
far as I could remember, I had never been to
the place.
     But only moments after she asked the
question....there is was! A small sign for the
popular Girl Scout Camp where my wife and
kids had stayed a whole lot of years ago.
     Next question. Could we go in to take a
look around?
     The answer took the Miata down a windy,
dirt and gravel road which, for a time, I
feared would never end.
     It did eventually end a field
of memories for my wife.
     The camp was very much as she remembered
it although some new facilities have been
added over those years.
     It seemed a bit strange to see the empty
tents and fireless fireplaces waiting for kids
with all the fixings for their smores!
     There were no canoes on the pond and the
swimming pool was empty.
     The camp seemed to be resting. Just
waiting for the next batch of Girl Scouts
showing up for a camping adventure sure
to build character and make memories.
     Hope you've got a stick for hot dogs
stored away somewhere ..and that all your
NEWS is good!    

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's In The Trunk?

   Trick or Treating, we used to call in
"Halloweening," is not what it used to
    When I was a kid we dressed up,
went door to door, sang a song or told
a joke, then hoped for either a Hershey
Bar or a quarter. The quarters were the
treat of choice since you could always
buy a Hershey Bar!
     We never had to worry about a
tainted "treat" or being mistreated by
someone along the way.
     Unfortunately that innocence was
lost somewhere along the way.
     There are still plenty of safe
neighborhoods these days and it's
always safer to have the parents escorting
the kids nowadays. We pretty much used
to head out on our own.
     Anyway, there are also great options
these days that assure safe Halloween fun
and a bag full of goodies.
     Yesterday one such option was offered
by the Plains Township Lions Club in our
     It's called "Trick or Trunk."  A lot of
good people from our town loaded their
car trunks and pickup beds with treats
and gathered at the community park to
welcome hundreds of kids in their
Halloween costumes!
     Most of the adults were in costume too!
     It's hard to tell which group was having
more fun!
     The kids, of course, will get another
crack at filling their bags again on
Halloween evening. But it was really nice
to see the community coming together to
support this fun and safe event!
      Judging from the "take" I suspect
local Dentists will be pleased too!
      Hope you're ready for October
31st and that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry!

    My wife, grand daughter, and I went
to the movies yesterday.
    It was truly a sad movie. The feature
was sad too! Oh, you thought I meant
the feature in the first place!
    No. In this case I was referring to the
movie........ theater.
    We had traveled to Scranton to the
Marquee Cinema. It's technically part
of, through across the street from, the
Mall at Steamtown.
    There was no one in the Ticket Booth.
But a sign there indicated you could get
your tickets at the Concession Stand.
    That simple transaction was delayed
when the computer used to issue the
tickets froze. Sad.
     The auditorium screening our
feature was empty! It probably seats
about 300 people or so. But we were
the only three inside. Very sad to see.
     That may have been because it was
a nice day outside or because the movie
we picked had already been playing for
weeks and everybody else who wanted
to see it had already done so.
     The place was very neat and clean.
But the sound faded down from time to
time and the picture grew dark now and
then too. That was sad as well.
     I remember attending the grand
opening of these theaters a few years
back. It was hoped they'd help bring
life back to the downtown area,
especially as more and more college
housing became available there.
     Now it seems the very future of
the theater is in doubt. And that's very
     It still looks good. It's in a good
location. And the popcorn tasted
pretty good to me!
     Hope there's a happy ending down
the road for this movie story....and that
all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Let The Sunshine In!

 There are many different ways to recognize
  For some it's leaves changing color. Others
will tell you it's the Geese flying South and
the first touch of frost.
  At our house it's my wife's decision that
the plastic covers must be installed over the
porch screens!
  Throughout the Spring and Summer these
large sheets of plastic, sealed in frames, are
safely stored away while the breezes of those
seasons are welcomed on our porch.
   There's already been a few days, however,
when that breeze was not so welcome!
    So, yesterday, my wife pulled out two
pair of work gloves. One was for me. How
    Within an hour the plastic was in place
and, with the sun shining brightly, our porch
became a Greenhouse!
     By the time the sun set the porch
temperature had settled down a bit to about
78 degrees!
    We lost a breezeway, but gained a Sauna!
Should be pleasant to spend some afternoons
there. At least till the sun gets low and the
snow gets high!
     Hope we saved some sun screen....and
that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, October 24, 2014

And You Don't Mess Around With Jim!

       Jim Croce  had a big hit with the song
"You don't mess around with Jim."
      But it was sweet music to some folks
in our area when a  "Chief," who isn't a
native American, echoed those words
     I refer to "Chief Judge" Theodore McKee
of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who
said it would be "patently absurd" to disinter
the remains of the great Olympic athelete
Jim Thorpe and move them to Oklahoma.
    When he died in 1953, Thorpe's third
wife, Patricia, entered into an agreement
with what were the towns of Mauch Chunk
and East Mauch Chunk, to have Thorpe
interred there even though he had never
actually been to the area. In return, the
towns legally changed their name to Jim
     Recently the Federal Court in Scranton
sided with the children of Thorpe's second wife
who wanted his body dug up and moved to
Indian territory in Oklahoma.
     Jim Thorpe had three wives during his
life. Descendants of his first are content to
have the remains...remain where they are.
Two out of his three families are OK with
Jim Thorpe staying in Jim Thorpe!
    This latest court ruling is good with that
too.  So am I!
     The community has become a major
area tourist destination and many of
those tourists stop to pay tribute to the
man the King of Sweden called "the
greatest athlete in the world."
      His monument has become the
recognized shrine to the man and his
     The lawsuit made it the center of
the country's latest Indian war. Thanks
to yesterday's court decision it looks
like the community won the battle!
    And, by the way, isn't this resting place
about as "native American" as you can get?
The original name, Mac Chunk, was
derived from the term "bear mountain" in the
language of the native Lenape people!
     As Jim Croce sang...."You don't mess
around with Jim."
     Hope Jim Thorpe stays in Jim Thorpe and
that all your NEWS is good!


Jim Thorpe