Monday, August 19, 2019

RADIO DAYS!


 TUESDAY, AUGUST 20TH., 2019
                RADIO DAYS!

     For me it's a walk down Memory
Lane. August 20th is National Radio Day.
     The bulk of my 60 years in the
media have been in television. But
I got my start in radio. And I've got
a lot of memories from those "radio
daze."
      I learned a lot from the years I
spent as a DJ. How to Ad Lib for
instance! You had to think and
act fast when things didn't go just
right.
      I remember reading a list of
Basketball scores. Suddenly, in
the middle of the list, I hit this one
.
( School name)  36
Pennsylvania School for the Dead, 20.
     What the wire service writer meant,
of course, was Pennsylvania School
for The Deaf.
      With my microphone still turned
on I said...."Gee, I'm surprised they
scored at all."
       Local radio was generally a lot
of fun back then. If you were
innovative you could do some neat
things. One day, at WBRX in Berwick,
I was working the control board when
a parade started coming down Main
Street. I grabbed an extra long
microphone cord, walked to a hallway
window, and did a "play by play" on
the line of march.
     Local radio was very local! I still
remember WAZL in Hazleton still
doing the Mine Working Schedules
for area coal mines and breakers when
I was getting started in 1959.
     We carried the New York Yankees
when I worked at WTHT (also in
Hazleton). When Yankee announcer
Mel Allan paused for stations on the
network to identify themselves, I'd
say "Thank you Mel" as though we
knew each other before giving our
call letters.
     Problem was, we were a "Daytime
Station" and had to go off the air at
dusk. But, sometimes, the ballgames
weren't over at dusk!  I'd have to
turn off the transmitter and run out
of the place as soon as possible to
avoid having to answer the telephone!
       I broadcast from a closet at
WNAK the day President Kennedy
was shot. That's where we kept our
Associated Press Teletype and it was
the fastest way for me to air the
latest developments.
       Our shining hour came just
before and in the weeks after the
1972 flood in Wyoming Valley when
a dozen area radio stations joined
forces to provide information on
the emergency. One headline read
"Radio Was The Hero Of The Hour!"
        So here's a tip of the hat to the
folks on and behind the microphones
then, and now, as we observe
National Radio Day!
        Hope the School for the Dead
is still playing strong...and that all
your NEWS is good!

         (WBRX Berwick 1965)

    























ALL MY UNIFORMS!

 I
    MONDAY, AUGUST 19TH., 2019
           ALL MY UNIFORMS!

      I was back in uniform Sunday. But I
wasn't in a game!
      My grandson Ryan is beginning
another season on the Wyoming Warriors
Soccer team and parents and grandparents,
like me, were invited to a "Meet the team"
gathering at the High School.
       In preparation I opened the drawer
housing my Tshirts and retrieved my
green Warriors shirt for the event.
        That's what got me to thinking
about all the "uniforms" I've worn
over the years.
         I had a few of my own from
softball days but that's a whole other
story.
         As the kids grow up and the
grand kids come along you find that
teams help support their efforts by
selling shirts and hats adorned with
their logos.
          Even if you don't have an
official team shirt you find yourself
trying to at least wear a shirt with
the team's colors.
          That posed a problem for us
Sunday because we wanted to stop
to support our granddaughter's mini
football cheering squad before the
"Meet the Soccer Team event" and
we would have had to be quick
change artists to pull that off!
          Next cheering session we'll be
sure to pull out our maroon shirts!
          There's still a Holly Redeemer
Tshirt and sweat shirt in my closet.
I wore them to support another
grandson who played football there
and  Granddaughter who excelled in
Volleyball.
          I've also got an old shirt in
there from a grandson's TBall team.
He's 21 now!
          Our two oldest granddaughters
will be off to college in a week or so.
I don't know if they'll get involved
with sports or not. But, fortunately,
they're heading to the same school so
at worst I'll only need one shirt with
a logo!
           Of course the little ones are
8 and 4 so I suspect I'll eventually
be needing more room in that Tshirt
drawer!
          Hope you're wearing the right
colors and that all your NEWS is
good!
    

Saturday, August 17, 2019

COUNTING FLOWERS ON THE WALL?


    SUNDAY, AUGUST 18TH., 2018
COUNTING FLOWERS ON THE WALL?

    I was thinking about the Statler Brothers
hit recording after watching the news Saturday.
The lyrics included the line "Now don't tell
me there's nothing to do."
    Well that certainly seems to be the case
around here. In fact you might say there's
too much to do!
     If you took in the Pittston Tomato
Festival Parade and stayed around for the
famous Tomato fight there's no way you
could get to any one of about 20 other
events or festivals within an hour drive
of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area!
      Stretch that to an hour and a half and
you could include the Little League World
Series to the list.
       There was a Canal festival in Wayne
County  where the Delaware and Hudson
once shipped coal to New York before
rail lines took over the job.
        A church in Scranton was giving
away back packs while Revolutionary
War reenactors welcomed visitors to
an encampment in Forty Fort.
         There were all kinds of fund raising
events, some for individuals, others
for non profit organizations, all featuring
contests,raffles, and prizes.
         Next time you hear someone
complain "There's nothing to do around
here" have them check the community
calendar for their own home town and
surrounding communities.
        If they can't find some fun
somewhere close by have them count
the flowers on the wall!
         Hope you got to attend one of
these events (or others I haven't
mentioned) and that all your NEWS
is good.

Friday, August 16, 2019

THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS!


 SATURDAY, AUGUST 17TH., 2019
THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS!

   We love to mark anniversaries and I've
been fascinated by all the remembrances
that are being shared this year about 1969!
   What a year! Filled with major events!
Some good. Some not so good.
    See if you remember some of them.
    Mankind's "Giant leap" as Neil Armstrong
set foot on the moon!
    Richard Nixon took office as President.
    Pele scored his 1,000 goal!
    It was the year of the Concorde's first
flight.
    Sesame Street debuts on television.
    "Mr. Whipple" showed up on TV to
promote Charmin Bathroom tissue.
     The New York Mets win their first
World Series!
      John Wayne wins the Academy Award
as Best Actor for his role in "True Grit."
      The U.S. spends no more money than
it takes in!
       Senator Ted Kennedy drives his car
off a bridge in Massachusetts. A young
woman from our area, Mary Jo Kopechne,
died in the accident.
       What many consider the biggest Rock
Concert ever was held in Woodstock, NY.
        But here's a tid bit on the biggest concert
that never was! It was arranged by phone on
August 16th of 1977 by Col. Tom Parker who
agreed to have Elvis appear in Hershey Pa.
Elvis died that same night!
         Of course the biggest event of all,
a good one, happened in April of 1969
when my wife and I got married!
          Hope you enjoyed remembering
and that all your NEWS is good!    

Thursday, August 15, 2019

BILL TOWN OR BUST!


   FRIDAY, AUGUST 16TH., 2019
         BILL TOWN OR BUST!

     My wife and I packed up our 4-year-
old grandson and headed for "Bill-Town"
yesterday.
     That's the nick name for the city of
Williamsport which is known
internationally as the home of the Little
League World Series!
      Just to set the record straight the
Little League was born in Williamsport
but the stadiums that host the annual
competition are located across the river
in South Williamsport.
       We like to see one or two of the
games each year. I like to see kids from
around the world playing baseball, I
also have a distant relative, now
deceased, who played on the Maynard
Midgets, the first winning team of
the Little League World Series!
       This is a treat that should not
be missed. There is no charge for
admission to any of the games! Your
only expenses are limited to the food
or souvenirs you want to enjoy.
       If you miss any of the series
you can still spend enjoyable time
cruising on the Hiawatha, a paddle
wheel style vessel that sails a
beautiful section of the Susquehanna
River where, many years ago, logs
were floated on the water to saw mills
in the region.
       The series of series games has
just begun so there's plenty of time
to catch the real "boys of summer."
       Hope you do and that all your
NEWS is good!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A PENNY SAVED...


   THURSDAY, AUGUST 15TH., 2019
             A PENNY SAVED...

  I'm always watching for the best gas
prices in my area. That pretty much
started back in the days when fuel was
nearing $4 a gallon and my old Suburban
had a 42 gallon tank!
   About the time my Suburban died and
prices started to come down Pennsylvania
decided to boost it's tax on gas. To fix our
roads of course, (Not!)
    This summer prices have been
fluctuating a lot but I'm still watching!
     Unfortunately the closest stations
for me are also close to Mohegan Sun.
They realize people from New Jersey
and New York leaving the casino want
to have a full tank so they tend to keep
their prices a couple pennies above
other stations.
      I'm not happy about that. But I get
it. Wednesday, however, I didn't. Get
it that is.
     The little gas pump symbol on my
car started flashing to remind me I
needed fuel. The Sheetz station close
to my home is closed for renovations
and a brand new station a few blocks
away hasn't yet opened for business.
     That left the Turkey Hill station,
I haven't been real happy with that
chain since their membership loyalty
card ceased giving me an extra 3cents
off every gallon.
      But having seen lower prices in
Mountaintop on Tuesday I couldn't
believe the one near the casino was
asking $2.78 cents a gallon.
       Waring light or not I drove to
another Turkey Hill station about a
mile away where I found another $2,78
price.
       As long as I had gone that far I
did one more mile to a Turkey Hill
on Wilkes-Barre Blvd. Same company,
just short of three miles from my
original stop. But gas was selling
for $2,62 a gallon. That's a 16 cents
difference!!!!
       That "penny saved", in my case
 amounted to about two bucks!
       I realize the price will vary as
the market goes up and down. But
I won't bother to "gamble" on the
stations catering to our out of state
visitors anymore.
        Hope you're shopping around
too so that all your NEWS will be
good. (And less expensive )
     

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

NO ONE "LEFT" BEHIND!



     WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14TH., 2019
            NO ONE "LEFT" BEHIND!

    I must apologize.  In my efforts to complain
about our Interstate parking lots, I mean
highways, I ignored an important yet
generally unrecognized holiday that should
get some attention. Consequently although
this blog is dated August 14th I am posting
it while a few minutes of the 13th yet remain. 
    August 13th is (or was or those reading
this on Wednesday) International Lefthanders
Day!
     For years people who favored their left
hand were looked down upon. I've heard
stories of teachers, especially in Catholic
schools, hitting kids on their knuckles for
using their left hand!
     I wonder if Leonardo Da Vince, John
F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, or Isaac Newton
ever got their knuckles rapped? They were
all lefties!
     My late brother was a brilliant math and
computer science teacher. He played golf
left handed. I don't think he ever got his
knuckles slapped!
     A few years before age retired me from
playing softball I taught myself to bat left
handed from time to time. It put me one
step closer to first base at a time when every
step closer helped!
     And look at the pitchers in Major League
Baseball who are making the team and a
fortune because they're "southpaws!"
      So let's raise a glass to the lefties even
if you;re reading this a day late and, while
we're at it, let's raise the left hand!
      Hope all your NEWS is good!