Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Something To Chew On!

      OK gang! It's the last day of September. So let's send the
 month out with a bang! Well...let's make it a Pop!
      You see September 30th is Chewing Gum Day!
       Nobody seem to know the origin of this unique "holiday."
       But chewing has been around for a very long time. The
 first chewing gum making machine was patented by Thomas
 Adams in 1871.
       He's the guy who came up a licorice flavored gum called
Black Jack!
       Of course there's all kinds of flavored gum these days in
addition to sugar free chewing and bubble gum.
I still get in trouble when I chew my gum around my wife.
She says I chew "too loud" and sometimes "like a cow."
       It  doesn't sound that loud inside my head and, anyway,
cows don't chew gum!
       I began chewing gum to avoid waste. It came in my
 pack of Baseball Cards.
       I think chewing gum is good for people. It keeps some
from smoking or eating too much. And think of all its other
       Gum can be used to plug leaks (temporally of course).
       Some gum still comes wrapped in tin foil. That wrapping
can complete electrical connections! In the days before circuit
breakers gum wrappers used in place of a dead fuse have kept
the lights on in some houses (usually just before they burned
to the ground!).
       And there's always some gum around. Always in stores
and often under the seats in stadiums!
      Gum has only three natural enemies. Mothers, wives, and
 teachers! Chewers should try to avoid all three and never get
 caught blowing a bubble in the vicinity of any of them!
      You might want to celebrate the day with some Double
Mint or, perhaps, some Double Bubble!
      Remember, though, should you come across a Mom, Wife,
or a teacher try to dispose of your gum properly and avoid
swallowing it!
       Hope your chewing gum keeps its flavor on the bed post
 overnight and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'll Miss You 2

  No apologies friends. I am a Yankee
fan. It stems, I'm sure, from the fact the
first Baseball game my Dad took me to
was one in Yankee Stadium. The original
"House the Ruth built."
  I don't remember what year that was.
But it's likely Phil Rizzuto was still the
Yankee shortstop back then.
  My Yankee idol was Mickey Mantle!
  But Mickey was the reason I never
played organized baseball.
  I never tried out for a team until the
Teener's League. Since Mantle was my
man I naturally tried out for Center
Field. The coach said I'd have to be
able to catch a ball in the outfield and
throw it to home plate on just once
   I quickly learned that I had trouble
just throwing the ball to the infield on
one bounce! Needless to say I didn't
make the team.
   A couple years later I turned to
Softball and, up till last year, I've
played ever since....first as a First
Baseman and later as a Pitcher.
   Even though I didn't play I still loved
   I hit a lot of the Red Barron games
at the stadium in Moosic when the
Phillies Triple A team played here.
   It was at one of those games when I
met another Yankee team great, Gene
"Stick" Michaels. He had come to
watch the Columbus Clippers play
and to scout a young kid named
Derek Jeter.
   How could I possibly know he, and
I, would be seeing a young man who
would become one of the most
popular players in Yankee history?
    Derek came back to Moosic last
year although I'm sure he would have
preferred to be at Yankee Stadium. He
was here on a rehabilitation assignment
after a serious injury.
     This year, as everyone knows, was his
last. He's been honored by his team,
opponents, big names from other sports,
and, perhaps most impressively, by fans
who not only don't root for the Yankees
but, even more, hate the Yankees.
     That speaks pretty well of the guy.
      He leaves with a lot of impressive
statistics which you'll hear or read about.
      But one, seldom mentioned, may say
more about him than all the other
accolades. It reflects his dedication to
respect of the game.
     Number of times ejected by an
umpire in 20 years........0 !
      I kind of wish he had been playing
when I tried out for Teener's League.
     I'll miss watching him playing for
the Yankees. But maybe he'll have some
time for Softball now! I'd love to show
him my 12 mile per hour Fastball!
      Hope he comes back to the area
and that all your NEWS is good!



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ask A Stupid Question Day!

    As a former news reporter this day has special
meaning to me.
    September 28th is "Ask A Stupid Question Day."
    It was established by teachers back in the 80's
who were trying to encourage students to ask more
questions in the classroom.
    It has often been said there is no such thing as a
stupid question. I would have to disagree. Some of
my colleagues in the media prove that on an all too
regular basis. Not that it's limited to them.
    I often wondered why ,for instance, when you've
checked yourself into an emergency room, the first
thing the doctor asks is "How are you?"
   How about the guy who drives up in a bright,
shiny car with the purchase sticker still on the
window who is greeted with questions such as
"Is that car new" or "is that yours?"
    How about the boss who sees you come in
10 minutes after your starting time and asks
 "You're late, aren't you?"
    Still those in the media usually get the Stupid
Question Award.
    You see them at the scene of a fire, usually the
 "Cub reporter" approaches the home owner and
 asks "How are you doing?" I'm surprised more
 haven't been answered with a slap upside the
    Of course there's also the "hopeful reporter"
 who asks the alleged killer "Did you do it?"
 They're hoping for a stupid answer such as
 "Sure I did and I wanted you to be the first
 to know."
    In any case today all bets are off! You can
ask anything you want. In fact it is suppose
to be stupid! So ask away!
    Hope you get a sensible answer and that
all your NEWS is good!

(Stupid is as stupid does: Forest Gump)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Don't Look Back!

  It was Baseball pitcher Satchel Paige who said it.
  "Don't look back. Somebody may be gaining on
  His quote was locked in my mind for a time
   The brilliant sunshine and colorful leaves
prompted my wife and I to put the top down in
the Miata and head out on the road to enjoy the
   We had no special destination in mind and, in
fact, made sure we hit a lot of back roads on our
trip to....who knows where?
    After a pleasant drive to the Ricket's Glen area
we turned south towards Shickshinny. After you
cross the river there into Mocanqua there's a road
that runs right along the Susquehanna into the
Wapwallopen area. It's a narrow, winding road
just perfect for a little Sports car on a sunny day.
    Unless, of course, there's a car right behind
you. And especially if that car happens to be a
State Police cruiser! I thought all those guys
were chasing that murder suspect in Monroe or
Pike County.
    Apparently they've left a few behind for other
    The speed limit along that stretch of rural
road is 25 miles-per-hour. My speedometer
read about 35 and I kept getting the feeling
the trooper really wanted me to speed up.
    If I had I'm sure he would have been happy.
    Either to give me a ticket, or to allow him
to move faster too!
    I hadn't planned on buying apples. But
when an entrance to Heller's Orchards
presented itself......I took it.......and was
pleased to see the cruiser go right on by.
    I believe he really sped up!
    For just a second I considered getting
behind him to see if a Citizen's arrest might
be in order.
    Instead I just bought some apples then
drove off to Nescopeck to our favorite
ice cream stand. It was good to see no one
had followed me there!
   By the way my "Cruiser in the mirror
photo is from the web. I didn't think it
would be wise to actually try to click a
picture of the officer behind me!
   Hope you're sticking to the speed limit
and that all of your NEWS is good!

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Favorite Fall Foliage!

   All eyes are on the trees around here these
days! The colors of Autumn are beginning
to show up and both locals and tourists will
be taking them in as long as they last.
   I'm in a similar position.
   I started looking for color on my favorite
tree a few weeks ago and I'm happy to report
I found It. It's green. And it's right across the
   I suppose some might ask what's so special
about green. It would be a fair question.
   My answer lies in the fact I'm not looking
at leaves. I'm looking a Pears!
    Several years ago our neighbor planted
what he thought was a shade tree in his back
yard. What he got was a Pear tree.
    It might provide some shade. It certainly
provides a lot of pears! They're usually
about ready for harvest about the time all
the other trees are turning red and orange.
    It's especially nice since our neighbor
doesn't like pears! I do! He told me I was
welcome to them. So I pick them. Two
pair at a time. (That's 4 pears).
    The tree is producing so much fruit that
some of the pears fall to the ground before
we can get to them.
     Then there are the biggest ones. They
always seem to be near the top of the tree.
I'd shake the branches. But I'm not sure I
could handle the fallout!
      I can't wait to see what the guy next
store plants next.
     Hope it produces more than shade..and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

   I saw it coming. Well, some of it anyway.
   We were headed to the movies the other
day when my wife looked at the grass and
said..."Looks like a little yard work is
    In most cases that would mean I'd
soon be running the mower over our patches
of grass within 24 hours.
    But her idea of a "little yard work" is a bit
like saying the Golden Gate Bridge needs a
coat of paint!
    Usually I have to be concerned about
mowing my way around all sorts of plants
and flowers I can't even pronounce.
     But yesterday was different!
     I was told we were "cutting things back"
and that meant clearing all those purple
flowers that formed a perimeter around our
yard. Of course the base of those flowers
was as hard as a small tree stump, challenging
both the lawn mower and the lawn mower
     It was like a day in those old cotton fields
"back home."
     I gave out by Noon. My wife put another
five hours into the effort. It had something to
so with her knowing what had to be done and
how to do it.
      I'm just afraid those flower stumps will
produce more of those purple things next
Spring and the whole thing will start all over
     Hope I didn't cut anything I wasn't
suppose to....and that all your NEWS is


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Read On

   I don't read as much now as I used to.
  Maybe it's because I write so much. My
daily Blog is probably a substitute for the
news stories I used to write everyday. Four
or more a day was not unusual.
   So, since those days in the newsroom
my reading usually involved some on line
articles from various news sources.
   Most of my dramas, comedies, or
biographies came from movies or TV.
   On our recent visit to Vinal Haven Island
in Maine, however, there were no movies
or TV, unless you counted a collection of
vintage dvd's, and no internet except for
that offered at the Library when I was
able to get there. As for cell phones, there
were a couple spots on the entire island
where you might get a signal.
    So it was that, prior to our trip, I
accepted my wife's offer to buy me a
book as we visited Barns & Noble.
    The store seemed to have more books
than I remember seeing at the Library
back in my old home town "back in the
     I've always heard it said "you can't
judge a book by its cover." But, not
wishing to spend a day reading the
jacket descriptions on a thousand
volumes, I pretty much looked around
for a cover or title that grabbed my
     There was a new publication on
the Titanic. I picked it immediately
even with a certainty I knew how the
story would end. But that was more of
an effort to add to my growing
collection of books on the famous sea
     Another, with photos of two famous
Americans on the cover, did grab my
attention. And the title, "Lindbergh vs.
Roosevelt," sparked my curiosity.
      We wrapped it up and hauled it
to the island with us where it filled in
all those "movie, internet, cell phone, and
TV-less hours" that  filled all those hours
between sleeping and eating your meals.
     We were there for three days. Just
enough to finish the book!
      Of course while shopping on the
island my wife found........a Book store!
      Guess I'll have to cut the power to
our house for a few days to see if I can
get through "Fly Boys!"
       Hope there's a Bookmark handy
around here and that all your NEWS is