Thursday, July 24, 2014

La Famiglia

   You can't use a GPS to find the
coordinates for heaven. But, last night,
we found a little bit of heaven right
here in Wildwood!
    Our family trips, and I stress the
word family, began here in the 1940's.
    Back then it was my Dad, my Mom,
my brother and I.
    When my brother went away to
college I was allowed to bring a friend.
So the "family group" remained at 4.
     My wife and I joined my Mom and
Dad in Wildwood after our first daughter
was born. We were up to five!
     After my Mom passed away we
wanted to give my Dad something to
look forward to and suggested renewing
our family trips to the shore. My brother
and his family joined me and mine and,
within a few years, "the family vacation"
had grown to include at least a dozen
people if you include a sister-in-law,,
nieces or a friend here or there.
     Time and busy schedules changed
all that although I, and my growing
family, kept coming year after year.
      This year one of my brother's
daughters and her family happen to
scheduled their Wildwood visit the
same week as me.
       Last night all the gang got together
and it was like old times!!
       We gave the Pizza guy the biggest
order he's had in a while and enjoyed
each other's company and family
       The kids got to renew relationships
with cousins they see all too infrequently.
And my son got to entertain the young
ones my lifting them into the air with
his hands. He declined, however, to try
the feet with me. I can only assume he
had counted the number of pizza slices
I had consumed.
      The conversation and laughter
probably echoed through the neighborhood
not to mention our building. We did become
slightly concerned it would wake our
youngest family member (soon to be 4).
      But when we found her asleep under
a table in the middle of the commotion we
realized there was no need for alarm.
     A GPS will not guide you to heaven.
     But all of us are convinced my late
Dad , Mom, and Brother were in our
midst as we celebrated life, tradition, and
"La Famiglia"(the family).
     Hope you're making memories with
yours so that all of your NEWS will be

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Listen My Children and You Shall Hear!

   There are a million sounds to be heard
along the visit the famous Boardwalk in
North Wildwood and Wildwood, New Jersey.
   You may or may not pay attention to
the vendors trying to lure you to their
water gun games or dinner specials.
   You will almost certainly be annoyed
by the constant repetition of the Mister
Softy jingle.  But only as you pass the
two stands located on the Boardwalk.
   But you can bet your lucky dollar
you will hear Floss Stingel when her
voice calls out to you!
   Who is Floss Stingel you may ask?
   Well, she's the local resident who
recorded the line "Watch The Tram Car
Please!" It's been replayed thousands of
times each day since 1971!
     I don't know what they did without
her? The Tram Cars have been driving
the Boardwalk and dodging preoccupied
tourists since 1949!
    You wouldn't want to get bumped by
this yellow and blue beauty! The
trackless train runs on 36 volt DC battery
that weighs 2,000 pounds!
    It hasn't changed much through the
years. Although the original price of a
dime a ride has crawled up to three bucks
these days.
    I was actually thinking of home when
I rode it this week. I heard the attendant
push a buzzer every time a passenger
got on board and, sure enough, there was
one passenger for each buzz! No "Ghost
riders" here at the shore!
     Hope you get to take a ride, know when
to step aside, and that all of your NEWS is




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Golden Oldies!

   Cleveland Ohio hosts the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame. There are a lot of reasons
why I believe it should be located here in
Wildwood, New Jersey!
    This popular resort has all the history
to qualify for the honor.
    Unfortunately, most people probably
don't even realize its here!
     Pacific Avenue is just two blocks away
from the Boardwalk and beach. But while
some people drive on it, very few people
walk along this musically historical
street these days. Many of the old
nightclubs that featured live artists "back
in the day" are gone now. But the street
should be a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame!
     There's a plaque on the side of one
building marking the place where Chubby
Checker first did "The Twist!
     The Wildwoods (North Wildwood,
Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest) try to
capitalize on their ties to the 50's. But
my walk along Pacific Avenue yesterday
had me humming "The Day The Music Died!"
     If you look at the sidewalk, instead of
the empty store fronts, you'll see a string
of blocks dedicated to various stars from
the heart of the rock era.
     Dion, The Beach Boys, The Grass Roots,
The Duprees, The Crystals, and each of
"The Monkeys" just to name a few!
     It's like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
     But it looks like somebody forgot it's
     If they can't revitalize the street they
should consider moving the tribute blocks
to the Boardwalk and, perhaps, add some
informational plaques here and there as
     The music's till playing from several
Oldie stations in the area. And the people,
a lot of them anyway (me included) are
still tuning in. Heck, I played these oldies
when they were new!
     "Wild, Wild, Wildwood Days" is heard
more here than the National Anthem!
     Hope they find a way to show off their
history and hope all of your NEWS is good.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sea Sights and Scents!

       MONDAY, JULY 21ST
  I headed out for my usual two mile
constitutional yesterday morning. But
this time my walk took me to the famous
Wildwood Boardwalk!
  For those who have never experienced
this two and a half mile wooden wonder
it's a lot like a giant Bloomsburg Fair
that runs all summer long!
  I was greeted with the strong scent of'
salt in the air, magnified by the 20 plus
mile per hour breeze roaring in from
the northwest. The Atlantic, of course,
furnished the salt air.
   But as I neared the long string of
shops that make of the western side of
the Boardwalk the salt aroma was
overtaken by the scent of fresh fried
   You see, in the morning, the
Boardwalk is filled with people
walking, jogging, riding bicycles
(of every unique description) or
otherwise using the attraction for
exercise. That, of course, makes them
prime targets for the restaurants which
cook up breakfast "specials" to cash in
on the crowds!
    And if breakfast isn't your thing, no
need to worry! There's more pizza
places on the Boardwalk than bars
in your town. And there's as many
Fudge shops as pizza places!
    I allowed the strong wind to blow
me away from the temptations and
back to our apartment.
    Of course that was yesterday and,
as the song title reminds us , "Yesterdays
    Hope I can hold out today, and that
all your NEWS is good!

Getting Up In The World!

   Our family is on vacation!
   For more years than anybody can
remember the DeCosmo's extended
clan have come to Wildwood, New
Jersey for a week in he Summer.
    I don't want to sat how long I've
come here. But my first "remembered"
visit coincided with some ceremonies
aboard the USS Missouri!
    The specific locations have varied
from year to year, especially as the
size of our group has grown.
     This year features a brand new
condo complex.
      I was so anxious to see it I got
up at 4am and was in the car before
5:30 to beat all that Philadelphia
      Unfortunately we couldn't get
in the place till 2pm so, rather than
sitting in traffic on the Schuylkill
Expressway, we sat in front of the
new place for several hours waiting
for "Check In" time.
      The place is beautiful. is on the third floor!
      That requires hauling a weeks
supply a
long flight of steps.
       The task was made a little
easier by virtue of an elevator
that goes from the garage to our
       Of course it's not the kind of
elevator you would find in the
Hilton. One person and a good load
of bags fill it pretty quickly. And
one would have to admit you can
probably climb that steep flight of
stairs faster than you can go up in
the "lift."
       Still, we made good use of
the unit and I was happy to arrive
on our floor.
       I did a double take, however,
when I saw the spiral staircase climbing
up still higher in the unit. Another
flight, without any assistance would
be, to me, like climbing Everest.
       Fortunately I was informed that
a couple other family members would
be stationed at the summit.
       I understand it leads to a beautiful
room. Hopefully someone will bring
me a photo so I can see it!
      Hope it's all downhill from here
and that all your NEWS is good.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

How I Got Belted!

  I suppose I shouldn't have had that small
bag of Doritos after our game of mini golf.
  We were about to board my friend's
Pontoon Boat for a cruise on the lake when
I felt my belt suddenly come loose!
   The leather had actually torn or pulled
away from the small metal piece that holds
it near the buckle. I figured I have to spend
the rest of the day with one hand on the top
of my jeans....just in case.
    My wife took one look at the broken
belt and, without a bit of hesitation, said
something I've probably heard her say a
hundred times. No! It wasn't "What did
you break now." What she said was "I
can fix that!"
    Now keep in mind, we're sitting on a
boat in the middle of a lake!
     She reached into her purse, which I'm
beginning to suspect was made by
Craftsman, and pulled out a small device
which, at first glance, looked like a pen.
    When she opened it, however, you
could see several sets of tiny screwdriver
type heads that fit into the top of  the unit.
     She found the right size, opened 4 small
screws, threaded the end of the belt into
place and tightened the screws.
     I worked! I had been belted!
     My wife has more magic in that purse
that in any of David Copperfield's hats!
Of course she was a Girl Scout Leader!
     I'm convinced that, had she been on
board the Titanic, the ship would never
have sunk!
     Thanks to her efforts I was able to
conclude our cruise with my head, and
pants, held high!
      Hope your motto is "Be Prepared"
and that all your NEWS is good.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Rough Day

    My grand daughter once asked me.."What
do you do when you're retired?"
    My wife and I tried to explain that we do
a lot of things, including spending time with
our grand children. "But what about when
we're not here" she asked.
    We got the feeling she felt we might just
be sitting around when she, or the other
grand kids weren't with us.
     Ah contraire!
     Yesterday's retirement schedule began
with a two mile walk.
     After a brisk shower and a quick
breakfast of Cheerios we hit the road with
two good friends to check out a new
miniature golf course for an hour or so.
     Admittedly miniature golf can be tough
on retired people. You're got to bend over
to get your ball out of the hole!
     The match was followed by a two hour
cruise on Lake Wallenpaupack aboard my
friend's 22 foot Pontoon Boat. This, too, can
be a challenge as it's sometimes hard to stay
awake while sailing on a slowly rocking
craft under the bright sunshine.
     Then it was off to dinner at a popular
area restaurant/
     Lest you think the day was all leisure,
we did stop at our campsite where we
hand carried a year's supply of firewood
to one of our neighbors.
     Back home for the evening we enjoyed
the concert sounds echoing through the air
from the nearby Mohegan Sun Casino.
     Yep. Another rough day in the life of
the "Rocking Chair folks!"
      Hope we didn't wear you out..and that
all your NEWS is good!