Monday, August 31, 2015

You Can't Tell The Players Without.....



      Usually I'd probably steer clear
young women with numbers on
their pictures. But this was a different
      The Wyoming Warriors Soccer
program hosts an annual fund raiser
that allows parents and grand parents
to meet all the players who'll be on
the field this season.
      While it's good to raise money to
support the teams it's also really neat
to realize that all those numbers you
see running around during the games
belong to real, live, individuals!
       That's especially handy for my
wife and I since we've got two
grandchildren playing soccer this
year (on two different teams), another
playing Volley Ball, one playing High
School Football and a young one on
a Mini Football Cheerleading Squad.
        Earlier last week we "met" all
the High School Football players and
all of their Cheerleaders.
        So far I've committed about 9
names to memory and five of them
are grandkids!
        It will be tough to remember all
the other names because there's just
so many. At least, now, those numbers
will look familiar!
       Hope I can remember which sport
I've cheering for....and that all your
NEWS is good!


Saturday, August 29, 2015




    Many years ago somebody whose
last name was Singley decided it
might be a good idea to get Moms
and Dads, aunts and uncles, and
cousins together for a family outing.
     They gathered at a small church
in Zion Grove, Schuylkill County,
had a brief worship service, then
gathered around tables where they
shared home made foods and a lot
of family stories.
      104 years later the descendants
of those Singleys, including me and
several of my family members, met
again. First at the same small church
and then at the nearby Singley Farm
which remains in the family after all
those years.
       It's the only time most of these
folks, who share the same blood line,
get together.
       We still share a lot of home made
food and there are more family stories
than ever!
        Although all the research has been
done and is available I think it's safe to
say most of those who attend don't
really know how we're all related. The
family has spread out a lot over the
       What's really nice is to see the kids
in attendance! They're the ones who will
have to carry on this tradition after the
current "older generation" is gone.
        A few years back somebody was
smart enough to start bringing some
games for the younger set. Like a bean
bag toss.
        Then there's the 'Gator,' actually a
newer incarnation of a four wheel drive
off road vehicle that the kids love to ride
in and around the huge cornfields. Of
course they need to be belted in, wear
helmets, and have "a responsible adult"
to do the driving. Usually, when something
happens around my house, my wife says
I'm responsible. So, accordingly, I drove
the kids around.
       I think all the youngsters had a
good time. I did! I enjoyed talking
with 2nd, 3rd, or 4th cousins or
whoever they are. I loved the fresh
corn cooked up in a  open pit fire.
And I loved having so many of my
family, including the newest member
of this clan, get together to share
what is truly a family tradition!
      Hope we're all back next year and
that all their, and your, NEWS is good!


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Little Lake That Wasn't There!


 The Little Lake That Wasn't There!        

    My wife and I took advantage of
another beautiful day to take a top
down ride in our Miata.
    We're fond of the "roads less
traveled" on drives like that. Less
traffic and, usually, a lot more to
see. Yesterday though, there was
a lot less to see. At least in one case.
     Years back family outings often
took us to sections of Rickets Glen
State Park. We kept my small boat
there a couple seasons and enjoyed
picnics and fishing on Lake Jean.
      But these days, Lake Jean, is
"lakeless!" The entire body of
water has been drained while repair
work is done to the dam that usually
contains the lake.
    It was strange to see the dry lake
bed in the area where I had sacrificed
so many night crawlers. We used to
pull our boat up to an island somewhere
out in the middle. But there was no
sign of it in what seemed like the vast
open field.
    There was a boat, left on its side,
near the spot where we used to launch
our craft. I'm not sure who's keeping
it there or why.  But I wouldn't be
surprised if his name was Noah!  It
would probably take at least 40 days
of rain to refill the lake!
     One other note. We saw a sign
indicating that all of the park's camping
spots were filled! I'm guessing those
folks are not swimmers, boaters, or
     The lake is scheduled to be filled
again next year. Hope that guy with
the overturned boat can wait...and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Walk Up Call


         A WAKE UP CALL

     I appreciated them when we
were on a tour, staying in a hotel
in a town we weren't used to and
realizing we had to be up, out, and
on the road by a certain hour.
     In those cases the wake up call
could save your day.
     As a news reporter, however,
the wake up call became something
to dread! I remember, for instance,
the early morning phone call that
sent me out on a day long assignment
to track down and tell the story of
mass murderer George Banks.
     Now that I'm "retired" and at
home more than away I don't look
forward to any wake up calls. More
often than not if they do come it's
because of some sort of family
     That's why my heart skipped a
beat last Saturday when some pleasant
but now unremembered dream was
interrupted by the distinct ring of my
cell phone. I charge it overnight. But
it's turned on while charging.
     I grabbed it as quickly as possible
and said "Hello." Nothing. It took a
moment to realize the signal I heard
was not an actual call but, rather, a
      More and more my grandkids
have, for some unknown reason,
favored a typed message over an
actual conversation. Could one of them
be stranded somewhere?
      No. The message was an alert from
my cell phone carrier. Someone there,
likely a computer, felt it necessary to
tell me I had used up nearly 75% of my
      There are two problems with this
message. First, I share a plan with my
daughter and her husband and it was
my son-in-law's data that was near an
      Secondly, the call that nearly sent
me into panic mode was received at
4:52AM! For those who have problems
with the big hand on the clock, that's
8 minutes before 5 in the morning!
       I do not recognize mornings that
begin before 8AM and, usually, that's
just the time I begin to stir.
       To be totally fair my carrier,
Verizon, did end its message with a
"Thank you message" for choosing its
plan. I would have replied. But I don't
use what might have been considered
the appropriate language either in
conversation or in print!
      I am now considering the option
of turning my phone off overnight.
Home they don't have my home number,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Something Fishy Here!


      Some of the family got together
yesterday to spend some time at
Francis Slocum State Park.
       My yacht is moored there so
my grandson and I decided to do a
bit of fishing. We picked up some
live bait, aka worms, got on board
and fired up both engines, aka oars,
and sailed out onto the lake.
      Our favorite spot is clearly
marked. I left a yellow and red
bobber hanging from the tree I caught
on our last outing.
       I've been trying to teach my
grandson how to fish. You know the
old saying about teaching a man to fish
and he'll eat forever. I must be doing
a fairly good job because he's hooked
a fish on both our expeditions to this
       Now I've got to find out exactly what
it is he's learned because I haven't caught
a thing! It's my boat, my rods, my hooks,
and we're both using the same worms. So
why does he get all the fish?
       I took my grand daughter on board a
little later. I don't think I have to worry
about het out fishing me. She's all girl
and made it clear she doesn't like worms!
        But whether we're fishing or just
cruising at least I know I'm always long as I can row!
        Hope the Fish Market is still open
and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Do Your Duty!


           DO YOUR DUTY!

     This is truly a day of celebration my
friends. It is a day that all of us in the
civilized world should be absorbing...I
       Its "National Toilet Paper Day!
       I'm not sure why this particular
date was selected. But there are sure
a lot of reasons to celebrate.
        In the interest of full disclosure
my son-in-law works at the Cascade
factory which produces toilet paper
(and other paper products) made
entirely from recycled material! It's
a product that's always in demand!
And that's pretty good job security!
          Joseph Gayetty is widely
credited as having invented modern
toilet paper in the U.S. back in 1857.
According to the Toilet Paper
Encyclopedia, just in case you don't
have a copy, 49% of people choose
toilet paper as their number one
necessity if stranded on a deserted
island (ahead of food!). And 69%
agree that that toilet paper is the 20th
Century “convenience” most taken for
          I'm not sure I agree with the
masses. I tend to think I'd prefer food
over a roll of tissue paper if I was
stuck on a deserted island! Maybe
some food and an old Sears catalog!
          In any case, don't waste this
special day! Do your duty and celebrate!
Hope everything comes out all right
and that all your good!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tunnel Tunes


            TUNNEL TUNES

       The road running past our
development goes up a hill, through
the woods, and leads to a rather
unique structure.
        It is a double arch tunnel.
There are railroad tracks on top.
One of the arches covers a mountain
stream. The other is for traffic.
        But the roadway beneath the
tunnel is very narrow. There's no
more for cars to pass each other
so you've got to go through one
way at a time.
        Tradition mandates that a
driver entering the tunnel sound
his or her horn so drivers approaching
from the other direction can be alerted
someone's already coming through.
        I sometimes walk on another
road nearby and have discovered that
any opportunity to sound a car horn
is not only welcomed by most drivers
it is a chance to "lay on that horn!"
       Some just sound the blast from
the moment that start into the tunnel
to the second they come out the other
side. Others, perhaps a bit more
musical, seem to sound random "beeps"
as they proceed.
        It must be especially entertaining,
although "entertaining" may not exactly
be the right word, for a few homeowners
who live on the east side of the underpass.
You see, even though headlights would
be just as effective, drivers, most of them
men, see the need to continue their
mobile symphony even as their pass
through the tunnel at night!
       It's times like this when I miss the
specialty horn I had installed in my old
jeep. I think both other drivers and
neighbors would be delighted to hear
the strains of "Take Me Out To The
Ballgame," or "Dixie" as I passed through
the arch! I had about 50 different selections
so I could do a whole show as I passed
back and forth.
      Hope they hear you coming...and that
all your NEWS is good!