Friday, June 23, 2017

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN?


  SATURDAY, JUNE 24TH., 2017
   AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN?

   The high stocks were gently swaying
in the soft breeze as we walked by. It
brought to mind the lyrics we recall
so well. The "amber waves of grain."
    It was poetic. For just a moment.
Then something bit my ankle. That's
when I realized I wasn't looking at
waves of grain.
    I was gazing at extremely high
uncut grass that sprouted in the
wake of all those spring rains around
our area.
    Most folks in our development
take care to cut their grass before it
becomes jungle-like.
     But we've got some vacant lots
that, unfortunately, have been
unattended for far too long this
season.
      It's bad enough walking by.
I wouldn't venture through those
lots with out a machete and, perhaps,
a hunting rifle!
      I've sent a message to the "powers
that be" in the hope they'll send
someone with a thresher or, at least
a lawn tractor, to cut back the growth
while I can still see the sun!
      Hope they get the message, and
that all your NEWS is good!







Thursday, June 22, 2017

SAYING FAREWELL!


   FRIDAY, JUNE 23RD., 2017
       SAYING FAREWELL!

    I can't remember just when our
daughter told us she was entertaining
the idea of inviting a foreign exchange
student into her home. I know I had
my doubts about the wisdom of such
a move.
    And those doubts continued,,,,until
I met Kyle! (I should point out at this
point that "Kyle" was the American
name he choose. I'm sure I can't
pronounce, let along spell, his given
name.)
     Kyle came to our area from Taiwan.
I thought they only sent toys!
     He is a young gentleman who took
on the challenge of coming to another
country and attending a school where
he had to learn new customs and
academics offered only in English!
The culture shock must have been
astounding.
     Add to all that the fact  he
was immediacy "adopted" into
our family which has its own
unique personalities and habits
which may or may not reflect
those of a "typical American
family."
      My wife and I became "Grannie
and Grandpa" and my daughter, his
host, became "Mom."
      He traveled nearly everywhere
with the family and it was always
a treat to have him around. He
even ate the foods to which he was
introduced. That, in some cases,
was its own challenge! Tastes
vary a lot from culture to culture.
      Today Kyle's visit comes to
an end. Early in the morning he
begins a very long set of flights
that will take him back to his
biological family. I was
tempted to write "back to his
real family." But that would be
inaccurate. Truth is he became
a real part of our family and we
will miss him! We already do!
       It is his hope to return to
the U.S. when it comes time
for college. And it is our hope
that will bring him back to us.
       Until then, Farewell
"Grandson" and may all your
NEWS be good!




      











 






Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REMEMBERING AGNES!


  THURSDAY, JUNE 22ND., 2917
      REMEMBERING AGNES!

     Every year around this time I get requests for
interviews. But unlike the days when I was an
active reporter doing the interviews.....these are
requests from people who want to interview me!
   And I know just what they'll be asking about.
   It's the 1972 Tropical Storm Agnes Flood!
   Back in '72 I was the News Director of WILK
Radio.
    Things looked bad in June 22nd so I called
my wife to tell her I'd be home late. Turns
out I didn't see her for nearly three days!
   When the waters of the Susquehanna River
began to rise rapidly because of the "Agnes"
storm I went to the Luzerne County to call
updates back to my station.
    But Civil Defense, the agency that
preceded the Emergency Management
Agency, didn't have a Public Information
Officer. So, when I walked in, I got drafted!
   I didn't make the decisions for Civil Defense.
   But, most of the time, I was the one who
announced them.
   The one I'm often remembered for was the
one I made on June 23rd as the sirens sounded
and I told area residents it was time to....
"Get out. Get out now!"
   A little while later I was sending a report
on our two way radio in the sub basement of
the Courthouse when water started coming
into the room from a drain in the floor.
   I always thought water was suppose to go
out drains!
   So when the water came in.....I got out!
  Eventually all of us on the Civil Defense
staff had to evacuate the Courthouse and move
to higher ground.
   We ended up in the Wilkes-Barre School
Administration building sending hourly
news updates to 13 area radio stations. I
formed and directed that network.
   Initially we used an Army Field Telephone
which was wired, literally, through the streets
to the old WYZZ FM.  The other 12 stations
re-broadcast our reports at 15 minutes past
each hour and throughout the emergency
we only missed one report.
   That's because a couple of kids found our
wire and decided it would make a good
jump rope!
    It's been 45 years since "Agnes" paid
her visit and I suspect I'll be telling a few
more stories about those days.
   A lot has changed in those 45 years
including, as my photo will illustrate,
me!
   Hope you're high and dry and that all
your NEWS is good!

I'LL HAVE A DOUBLE SHOT PLEASE!


    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21ST., 2017
I'LL HAVE A DOUBLE SHOT PLEASE!

   Now before all of my faithful readers worry
that 've taken up some serious drinking I should
tell you that very little alcohol was involved in
my order.
   In hindsight, perhaps some Old Grand Dads
would have been a smart choice before my
"double."
   For a long time now, especially since my
now infamous Wiffel Ball wipeout on our
rocky church parking lot, my knees have been
killing me!
    On Tuesday my doctor suggested a shot
which he hopes will relieve some of the pain.
With even the slightest chance of some
improvement at hand I decided to go all the
way and have the medication applied to
both knees.
     I wasn't extremely thrilled to hear him say
the benefits may not show for 24 hours. And,
in the meantime I might actually have a bit
more pain.
     But I gave the go ahead anyway and spent
the evening trying to find out how I somehow
got one of my computers to fail to recognize
the internet while  trying to balance two ice
bags...one on each knee.
     Hope his time estimates are correct and
that all your NEWS is good!    

Monday, June 19, 2017

GETTING BACK...TO THE FRONT!


      TUESDAY, JUNE 20TH., 2017
  GETTING BACK...TO THE FRONT!

     Some of you have probably noticed
the sunshine and 90 degree days we've
had in between rainstorms recently.
      I'm sure some of my neighbors
noticed that in the midst of those truly
summer-like days my little red Miata
sat, covered up, as they usually see it
throughout the winter season.
       Truth is I have been itching to
put the top down and take advantage
of those great days. But it's just not
the same without my partner...my wife!
       Although I have now heard two
very different medical opinions on the
subject the "accepted policy" requires
open heart surgery patients to ride in
the back seat during their rehabilitation
period.
        The theory involves the potential
danger a patient might face should an
air bag deploy during an accident.
         My Miata, of course, has no back
seat so, following prescribed policy, I
have no place to put her.
         The "not officially approved
theory" suggests that a rear seat
passenger faces just as much danger
in an accident from flying forward
and striking the front seat!
          My policy, either way, is to
do everything possible to avoid
accidents. And, I suppose, if I had
one in the Miata your seating
assignment would be very
academic!
          Anyhow, my wife's rehab is
coming along nicely so I'm hoping
it won't be too long before she's
getting back to the front!
          Hope that's sooner than later
and that all your NEWS is good!



 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING!


   MONDAY, JUNE 19TH., 2017
GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING!

   Looking for adventure and
what ever comes your way? Well,
if so this is your day. June 19th is
"Ride to Work Day!"
   Now most of you probably do
just that. Ride to work. But this is
a date to promote taking that ride
on a motorcycle!
    Cycle enthusiasts promote the
event on the third Monday of June
to call attention to the advantages
of riding motorcycles.
      Things like saving fuel and
reducing pollution. Bike riders
also have a lot less trouble finding
a parking spot!
      I drove my cycle to Scranton
a few times when I was still on the
news beat for WYOU. I enjoyed
it generally. But there were some
concerns
      You see my motorcycle is a
1971 Honda 90 cc Street/Trail
Bike. For those who don't follow
things like the size of a motor, I
was basically being powered along
by an oversized lawnmower engine.
      For me that meant going up
hills (if they weren't too big) at about
25 to 30 miles per hour. The wind
from the cars whizzing by nearly
pushed me over!  And my usual 25
minute trip took closer to an hour!
      At least it was bigger than the
first cycle I bought. That was only
50cc's. After I picked it up my Dad
told my friend it the stupidest thing
I ever did. Actually it wasn't. But
that's a whole different blog.
        If you're got a bike I encourage
you to tale part in this exciting day.
Although I should warn you that
rain is predicted.
        If you don't have a motorcycle
maybe you can just watch Easy Rider
or The Wild Bunch.
         Hope you were "Born yo be
Wild" and that all of your NEWS is
good!








Saturday, June 17, 2017

ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!


        SUNDAY, JUNE 18TH., 2017
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!

    We celebrated Father's Day a day early.
But for good reason.
    Still recovering from her open heart
surgery my wife's movements are still
limited a bit. So, instead of getting the
family together for my daughter's
birthday on the 14th., or again for
Father's Day, or again for a Farewell
party for my other daughter's exchange
student, we lumped them all together
on Saturday.
     All available family members
gathered at my daughter's house where
the appropriate greetings, cards, and
gifts were presented and hot dogs and
hamburgers consumed.
      I did especially well, enjoying
Father's Day presents from my kids
and my grandkids!
      My sister-in-law from New Jersey
made it in for the gathering. I am
convinced she is the little redheaded
girl that has capture Charlie Brown's
heart! She and one of our nephews
supplied the wine!
       It was a bittersweet party since,
as I wrote, one element was taking
the time to say good bye to Kyle,
our daughter's exchange student
from Taiwan.
        He's seen a lot of our family
since coming here for the school
year. It would be interesting to
hear the stories he'll relate to his
own family when he gets  back.
I suspect his tales will all sound
a little bit like a Peanuts cartoon!
        But I think he'll be impressed
with the way our family comes
together to celebrate each other,
whatever the reason!
         I hope he remembers that
and that all his NEWS is good!