Thursday, June 21, 2018

READING THE SIGNS!


    FRIDAY, JUNE 22ND., 2018
       READING THE SIGNS!

     You've got to be amazed by those
stories from the old west when men
known as trackers could literally
look at hoof prints in the dirt and
determine how many riders had
gone by and, often, exactly where
they were headed.
       These days every road and
street are named and most of us
have a GPS system in our car to
point out the fastest way to get where
we're going. For those not technically
inclined old fashion maps are still
available to help you find your way!
        We choose the Garmin as our
initial direction finder when we
headed out to meet our son and daughter-
in-law for dinner on Thursday.
          We had a fish dinner in mind
and they found a place that featured
seafood on its menu.
           Our GPS was not as exact as
we hoped it might be even though we
entered the exact address. I was
especially surprised when my wife
spotted the seafood painting on the
place two miles before the Garmin
indicated we should be there.
             The place seemed very nice
though the prices were a bit more
than we had expected.
              Sine we arrived first we
ordered  water and a coke and
told the waitress we'd wait for our
other family members to join us.
When they didn't after a respectable
few minutes I texted my son to let
him know we were in the place and
already had a table.
               Problem was.....he and his
wife were already in the place and
had a table!  Seems some of us were
in the wrong place!
                That seemed to be my wife
and I so we apologized to the waitress
and left to complete our dinner
rendezvous. That's when I noticed
the "Seafood Painting" my
wife had spotted had a name above
it as well. And it wasn't the name
of the place we were suppose to meet!
My wife saw the painting but ignored
the name!
                It was a nice painting but
it might have been better to read
rather the just look at the sign!
                After a bit more searching
we did find the other place and
enjoyed a great dinner together!
                Hope you're reading the
signs and that all your NEWS is
good!
     

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NOT YET!


    THURSDAY, JUNE 21ST., 2018
                NOT YET!  

      For those who may not know I
do some writing for the NEPA Family
Times.  I write a Grandparents column.
       On this first day of summer I'd
like to share my latest essay which
was inspired by my weekly outings
with my 2 and a half year old grandson.
        Hope you enjoy it.

 AN OLD GRANDPA'S NEW MATH!
    Math has never been my specialty but
lately I find myself using some new math
when it comes to dealing with my two and
a half year old grandson.
     Before I attempt to explain I must
caution parents and other grandparents.
Don't use this math if you're attempting
to raise a child with strict disciplinary
standards.
      It started out well. We were at a local
playground. My grandson was on the
swing and I was pushing it. As my back
grew weary I suggested it might be time
to stop. "Not yet" he answered.
     Since I hadn't given much warning
I responded with the phrase "OK. One
more time."
      That sentence can be added to the
list of famous last words.
       One more time turned into two, and
then three, and another two or so.
       And that was just the swing! My
suggestion it might be time to go was
also greeted with a "Not yet."
        Soon "One more time" was
replaced by "One last time." But, of
course, the actual "last time" came a
little later.
        Yep. Grandpa kept giving in.
Probably a bad habit.
         I wondered about that but
suddenly realized I wasn't on any
time table when I took the little
guy out. It was sore muscles rather
that a busy calendar that had me
thinking about putting my feet up
somewhere.
         And then another thought
came into my mind. It was based on
a saying I heard one time. "Let me
love him a little bit more before he's
not little anymore."
           All too soon I may be
watching him leave to go home and
I'll be the one saying "Not yet" or
asking him to play a game with me
"one more time."
            Maybe, if I'm lucky, my
grandson will remember the few
extra rides on the swing or time
spent in the playground and stick
around "one last time."
             Hope all your NEWS is
good!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

THE PENTHOUSE PRIVIES!


  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20TH., 2018
       THE PENTHOUSE PRIVIES!

   My wife and I were back in Philadelphia
Tuesday for what I call her 10,000 mile
check up.
    It's been just about 13 months since her
open heart surgery so our specialist there
checked over all the data and adjusted her
medications a bit. Basically she passed
inspection (although she did not get a
sticker like the one we have to have on our
cars. I think she deserves a sticker!)
     We took a little time to get a bite to
eat while we were in town and sat at a
sidewalk table to enjoy our lunch.
     It's near to survey the skyline of big
cities like this. But it's hard to keep up with
the way it's always changing!
     We watched prior to and just after her
operation as a huge skyscraper was being
built. It's like a mountain of glass that
reflects the clouds and sunshine from its
towering mass. On Tuesday there were
no more cranes on top. The building
looked complete, at least from the
outside.
       Just a few blocks away from our
lunch table the skeleton of another new
building is taking shape. At this stage
I couldn't tell how high it will eventually
be. It looks like a giant Erector set with
steel beams being put in place.
        Occasionally you'll see a worker
walking a beam or looking down from
their high perch. I'm not real big on
heights unless it's from the comfort of
a plane or helicopter. And speaking of
comfort, maybe that's why  it was the two
"Job Johnnies" sitting atop the skeleton
that caught my attention and brought some
questions to mind.
         They sat on what looked to be the edge
of the highest floor of the new structure.
         How did they get there? They had
to be at least 10 stories above the street!
How does the service company...."service"
them? And why are there two? I doubt
one is for the handicapped. Not that far
about the city! Perhaps the law requires
a "Men's and a "Ladies Room", whatever
the elevation?
          I guess it's just the reporter in me.
Anyway it's nice to know they're there.
We're always looking for a restrooms in
a strange city.
          Hope they're not the only choice
and that all your NEWS is good!






Monday, June 18, 2018

OUT OF THIS WORLD!


   TUESDAY, JUNE 19TH., 2018
       OUT OF THIS WORLD!

    I was watching the news Monday
night when I saw a clip of the President
proposing a new branch of the Military.
    If the plan makes it through
Congress the U.S. Space Force will be
competing with the Army, Navy, and
Air Force for recruits.
     I suppose basic training would be
something like that used to train
astronauts in the years when we were
in the "space race."
     I kind of like this idea. In fact, in a
sense, I'm already a "veteran."
     Many years ago I joined the "Rocket
Ranger Corps." True, it was only a TV
show. But, in essence, it depicted our
fighting forces doing battle in the realm
of deep space.
       I really got into it! I still remember
the words and music to the Corp's march.
And best of all I still have my Rocket
Ranger Corps Shirt. It may have shrunk
a little over the years but I've still got it!
       Maybe the new force would like to
sign me on as an advisor. Although I'm
not sure I'm up for a long deployment
on Mars these days.
        If they're smart supporters will
pull up the old Rocket Ranger march
for their theme song. It's catchy and
will help lure recruits to the corps!
        I'm not exactly sure what its
mission will be although, since we're
talking about space perhaps it will
end up being a second front against
illegal aliens. When it comes to those
kinds of aliens a wall could be out of
the question.
        Anyhow, hope they get it flying
and that all your NEWS is good!

(You can hear the Rocket Ranger Theme
on YouTube)
https://youtu.be/nbMj4b2gNws


Sunday, June 17, 2018

FLOWER POWER!


  MONDAY, JUNE 18TH., 2018
         FLOWER POWER!

    Saturday proved a perfect day for
a top down drive.
    We stopped by a Bar-B-Q place
in Hamlin from some chicken and
corn then decided to take the long
way back home.
     That route took us to Newfoundland
in Wayne County where, it seems, there's
always something interesting to be found.
      On Saturday that "interesting" thing
turned out to be a Garden Center.
       My wife had remembered seeing
the place a few years back when she
spun wool on her wheel for the annual
GDS Fair. She saw it but never stopped.
This time we did.
        My wife loves flowers and this
place had about every variety you could
think of. I like flowers too although I
usually favor Dandelions which grow
without any effort I my part.
         I saw several SUV's parked in the
lot. It quickly became clear they were
driven by husbands who were following
their wives around as they scouted the
grounds and the store for all kinds of
hanging baskets, potted plants, and
lawn ornaments.
        One gentleman told me the back
seat of his vehicle was packed with
"things" is wife bought in Scranton.
That left the entire rear storage area
for the flowers and plants she and a
store clerk carried out to the car!
         My wife picked out a potted
plant and I thanked my lucky stars
I was driving the Miata! The flower
just fit in the trunk. As long as it
didn't grow while we traveled we'd
be safe!
          We'll have to use a different
road or a bigger car next time we're
in the area.
          Hope you stop to smell (if
not buy) the roses and that all your
NEWS is good!







           

Saturday, June 16, 2018

WHAT'S IN A NAME?


     SUNDAY, JUNE 17TH., 2018
        WHAT'S IN A NAME?

  I'm not sure just how old I was when I
found out my Dad had a different first
name than the one I was used to hearing.
  Most people called him "Tony." That
seemed logical since it was a common
nickname for somebody named Anthony.
   Except, as it turns out, my Dad's name
wasn't Anthony. Well, not exactly.
   He always signed his name Anthony B.
DeCosmo. The "B" stood for Biagio, his
"given" first name.
   Dad much preferred "Tony."
   He had a great and, in some ways, an
exciting life.
    His father passed away when my Dad
was young so he went to work very early
in life. First as a Breaker Boy where, the
story goes, he got into trouble for trying
to organize the other children workers.
    Eventually he found his way into a
movie theater and learned how to be a
projectionist. In fact he showed the
first Sound Movie (The Jazz Singer)
in Hazleton!
    It's an occupation he followed for
most, but not all, of his life.
    He was Chief Projectionist at the
Capitol Theater in Hazleton all the years
I was growing up. But the movie business
was beginning to lose audiences to
television (ironically the media that
became my profession for most of my
life).
    Seeing the writing on the wall or,
perhaps the screen, Dad used to take a
leave of absence for a few weeks each
year and would go to work in New York
City running spotlight in the old Madison
Square Garden for Ringling Brothers
Circus and Ice Capades.
     When the Capitol finally closed in
1963 he put his New York connections
to good use and started touring the
Country and Canada as a Stage Hand with
professional road companies.
     He worked with some big stars like
Jackie Gleason, Howard Keel, and Hume
Cronym to name a few. Cronym said in
all his years in Show Business the only
man he knew who never missed a cue was
Tony DeCosmo!
    Dad always had a smile on his face and
truly enjoyed life. He worked on Broadway
with Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme.
    When they played the Kirby Center he
had hoped to see them again. I had even
sent a note backstage on his behalf. When
they took off without a meeting, Dad simply
said....."Too bad. It's their loss!" He was
right! It was their loss!
     Eventually Dad found himself back in
our hometown in a "new "movie theater.
He worked it when it had a single screen.
He worked it when they split it into a two
screen theater. He even worked it after
they turned it into a five screen theater.
 At least for awhile.
     Well into his 80's Dad finally decided
it was time for others to haul the film cans
and splice the shows together. Jack Palance
was with him his final night in the
Projection Booth. They were interviewed
for TV and Dad did most of the talking!
     He passed on a year later, enjoying and
loving family, friends, rides, vacations, and
a good cigar right on up till the end!
     He left us with a treasure of love and
memories that keep him alive in our hearts
every single day!
      I know I, my son, and daughters always glance
back up towards the Projection Booth when
we go to the movies. There's always the
feeling that he's right there with us, probably
trying to make sure the scene is in focus and
the sound is turned up!
      His birth certificate read "Biagio." He
signed his name "Anthony." Most people
just called him "Tony." I was lucky. I got
to call him Dad!
       Hope your memories are wonderful
too and that all your NEWS is good!




Friday, June 15, 2018

AND THEN I NOTICED....


  SATURDAY, JUNE 16TH., 2018
    AND THEN I NOTICED.....

     I've got to stop seeing so many
movies. Or, at the least, I've got to
forget what I've seen once I've seen
it.
     This became very clear to me as
we boarded the Norwegian Gem for
our Travelworld cruise to Canada.
      One of the first orders of business
on a cruise ship is, ironically, making
plans for how to get off during an
emergency. They call them "Life Boat
Drills." You don't actually get into a
life boat. Instead you gather at a Muster
Station from which you'd enter a life
boat during an actual emergency.
       Of course life boats these days
look a lot different than they used to.
They're actually small cruisers which
I immediately recognized as being like
the boat in which Navy Seals took out
three hijackers in the movie Captain
Phillips. Guess I'd take a seat away
from a window!
         There are murals painted in
the stairways throughout the ship. The
one leading downstairs nearest our
compartment was one that looked
strikingly like the Titanic! Perhaps it
was another vessel that just reminded
me of the one pictured in the movie.
         Interesting choice for a cruise
ship heading out to sea!
         Then there was the series of
 paintings along the wall right outside
the ship's library. I was admiring the
art work until I noticed it was a
portrait of the Andrea Doria! She
sank after a collision with the Stockholm
in 1956.
          Fortunately our voyage was smooth
sailing all the way and I never even took
my life jacket down from the top shelf
of the closet (though I did check to make
sure there was one there!).
           I also assured my wife there was
no need to worry. In the event of an
emergency at sea I was prepared to board
a lifeboat and go for help. I'm not sure
she fully appreciated my offer!
           Hope you'll sail with us someday
and that all your NEWS is good!