Wednesday, October 18, 2017



     Though I'm not a fight promoter I
attended a meeting earlier this week to
help plan the big comeback of the
Heavyweight Champion of the World!
      The champ hasn't fought for many
years but many of us still believe he's
the best boxer there ever was!
       His name is Joe Palooka!
       He's a comic strip character
created by a Wilkes-Barre native,
the late Ham Fisher.
        Palooka was such a popular
character that when Fisher wrote a
story about him enlisting in the
Army during World War II, thousands
of his fans followed his lead and
signed up to serve their country.
        Some 40 years ago I was on a
committee that raised funds for a new
Joe Palooka monument along Rt. 309
in Hanover Township. The original
Bronze plaque honoring the fighter and
his creator had been stolen. It marks
the site of "Mount Joe Palooka."
         The new monument stood the
test well but it's concrete base began
to deteriorate several years ago.
          A couple months ago the Home
Builder's Association decided it was
time to make repairs and its members
went to work. They've done a
beautiful job!
          Next Wednesday the refurbished
memorial will be rededicated and the
three surviving members of our original
4-man-committee have been invited to
take part in the celebration. Each of us
was written into the comic's storyline
back then.
          A lot of people actually expected
I'd wind up in the "Funnies" some day
so they weren't too surprised
          I'm sure everyone will appreciate
the work done by the Home Builder's
          Hope Joe enjoys his comeback
and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017



    There was frost on the pumpkin Tuesday
morning. There must have been because
there was frost on my car windows when
we set out for a morning medical appointment.
      It didn't catch us by surprise. The local
forecasters had warned about it showing up
Tuesday. They told us there would be frost.
But it came anyway!
       Our furnace must have heard the
forecast. It fired up early Tuesday morning.
Just another sign of Fall.
        Fortunately the frost has not yet
turned into a daily occurrence. But it will
be back.
         All the signs are there. The sun setting
earlier each day. The leaves beginning to
change color. And then there's the geese!
          I've heard flocks of geese flying
overhead a couple times over the last
week. I've seen them three times and that
includes a huge flock I saw over
Hazleton last week.
            But that flock was headed west!
Either they're depending on a GPS or we
may have a bit more lime!
           Let's hope for more time...and that
all your NEWS is good!


           YOUR DO OVER DAY!

 You don't have to play golf to enjoy this "special day."
 But golfers will certainly understand its significance!
 Today is "Mulligan Day!"
  Basically a "mulligan" is an opportunity to start again.
  You could call it a "Do Over Day!" In fact I did!
  You get to play it again Sam!
  According to the U.S. Golf Association, there are three
possible explanations for the term and its meaning, all
relating to a David Mulligan. "One day Mulligan hit a very
long drive off the first tee, just not straight, and acting on
impulse re-teed and hit again. His partners found it all
amusing, and decided that the shot that Mulligan himself
called a 'correction shot' deserved a better named, so they
called it a 'mulligan.'"
  Students may want to mention this unusual "holiday" to
their teacher in the event of a bad test score.
  If you've done anything wrong on your first try today
you should get a second chance.
  Of course you can't count on mulligans to save your
whole day!
  I don't think you'll get one if you're already driving
south on the Interstate's north bound lanes!
    You should also be careful when using your mulligan.
    Your boss, for instance, may not be observing this
day like the rest of us! A "non believer" like that
could force you to restart your entire career!
    I actually wanted to start this whole Blog over.
    But I'm too busy watching the Yankee game!
    Hope you'll use your Mulligan wisely and that
all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, October 15, 2017


   MONDAY, OCTOBER 16TH., 2017

    It's going to be a little harder to celebrate
this unusual "holiday" than it used to be!
    October 16th., after all, is "Department
Store Day." But Department Stores seem
to be a vanishing breed!
     When I was growing up in Hazleton
the Department Stores were the centers
of the Business District. And we had
      The Leader Store and Deisroth's
were the two main Department Stores
although there were others including
the Bon Ton.
       The Leader was my favorite! It
had a Toy Department and it's the place
where Santa showed up every December
to listen to kid's Christmas wishes!
        It was also the first store to have
escalators! That was a pretty big deal
for a little kid. I'm sure I wasn't the only one
who rode to the top just to take a couple
steps backward to re-ride the last few
        The advent of Shopping Malls
did many of the old Department Stores
in. Not just in Hazleton!
         A few, like Boscov's, continue to
survive but few are actually located
"downtown these days. Most of them
compromised and moved into the
very mall that threatened them.
         Ironically it's now the malls that
are threatened!
         If you're fortunate enough to
have a local Department Store in
your community you might want to
celebrate there today.
         If you don't have anything you
need to buy at least stop in and ride
the escalator!
          Hope you find one and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, October 14, 2017



     A professional video photographer
was on board when we sailed on our
Travelworld Whale Watching voyage
two weeks ago.
      Even though I was shooting my
own video I decided to buy a copy of
his production photographed with a
state of the art camera.
      Each day since I've been checking
the mail in anticipation of the dvd I
       It reminds me of Ralphie in "A
Christmas Story", waiting for his
Secret Decoder Ring from the Little
Orphant Annie radio show.
        But it also reminds me of me
back in the days you sent two cereal
box tops into some radio show to
get some sort of prize for your
favorite on-air hero!
          It was before cereal companies
posted a seal on their boxes and smart
kids, like me, would send in one
box top and one box bottom to get
whatever it was I just had to have.
          Sometimes the prizes were
so tempting you made your Mom
buy cereals you didn't even like
just to get the box tops!
            Ironically even though I
can still remember most all of those
radio shows I can't recall a single
one of the prizes I wanted so much
back then! So much for memories!
           Hope that dvd shows up soon
and that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, October 13, 2017


             FORGET ABOU IT!

      I'm on a roll folks so please bear with
      My visit back to Hazleton, my old
home town, has prompted a lot of
response both from people in and out
of "The Mountain City."
      I visited a number of places, mostly
homes and apartments now, that were
popular business places when I grew up
      There was one place I didn't show.
I couldn't. First it wasn't there any more.
Secondly, I couldn't remember the name.
       In an "Italian city" (well it was then)
when you might expect to hear the phrase
"Forget about it," I forgot about it!
        But the place was so unique I figured
it deserved to be remembered. Even if I
couldn't remember its name.
         It was located in an alley just one
block from Broad Street, Hazleton's main
         It was tough to park in the narrow
street but once you did you looked for a
brick building with a dark steel door.
         The name of the business was
posted on the door with stick on letters.
You entered and immediately found
yourself in a closet sized area with
another door on your left and a door
bell button on the wall.
          It was important not to let the
first door close behind you because
you would find yourself in total darkness
if you did!
          Next step, press the button and
right the bell. About now you half
expected to hear a voice saying "Forget
about it!"
           But that's when the man who
ran the place would let you in and you'd
see several candy display cases filled
with goodies of all sorts and, likely,
packing boxes in the adjoining room.
           Now I remember! This was
Jacob's Candy Store. I'm not sure if
they actually made the candy there or
distributed from the warehouse-like
             I do know their candy was
delicious and I made several visits
there when my Dad was still alive and
we visited Hazleton most every weekend.
            I don't know when they closed
but I believe there's an empty lot on the
]site now. Or I missed the door that once
bore the Jacob's name.
             I just had to share. You can't
make up stories like that!
             Hope you don't forget about it and
that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, October 12, 2017


       FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13TH., 2017

     I was very impressed by the overwhelming
response to my Thursday Blog about my visit
to my old hometown!
     A lot of non-Hazletonians liked seeing my
memories while those who grew up in the
"Mountain City" shared their own thoughts
about some of the places I recalled.
      I decided to add a couple more today
but admit my memory isn't as good as I'd
like it to be in all cases.
      If you've ever driven through Hazleton
you may well recognize a couple of the
buildings even if you don't know the history.
       The Hotel Altamont still stands at the
corner of Church and Broad Streets in
Hazleton. It hasn't been a hotel for many
years but unlike the Casey in Scranton or
the Sterling in Wilkes-Barre, at least it's
still there!
        In 1960 I watched from the roof of
the old Capitol Theater as a guy named
John Kennedy gave a campaign speech
from in front of that hotel during his run for
        It's future is unclear but, hopefully, the
former hotel can be preserved and serve some
useful purpose.
        There have already been some extensive
renovations to the old Markle Bank Building
on Broad Street in downtown Hazleton. It
now houses various offices and a restaurant
named after and featuring the popular Bar-B-Q
served at the former Knotty Pine Restaurant.
          Bui I still remember the huge lighted
sign, probably three stories high, that used
to flash the name Markle Band and Trust
Company on top of that already very tall
           I often wonder what you do with a
sign structure like that after you take it
down? It's not like you could reuse it at
an ice cream stand!
           It's some of the smaller places
that have left holes in my memory.
           I found an apartment complex
on third street between Peace and Grant
where a small family owned market
once served the neighborhood. In my
memory it was called "Marcy's" but don't
hold me to it.
           It was typical of the old neighborhood
stores you'd find in our towns and cities
back in the 1950's and before in some cases.
          These days the only hint of their
existence is a larger than usual window
by the entrance door and, often, a door
way set up at a slant.
            A piece of advice if I may. If you
know the history of some of these "Used-
To-Be's" take a photo now, even if the
enterprise itself is long gone. Then jot
down your memories of the place so
they're preserved for our future.
             Hope they bring back pleasant
memories and that all your NEWS is