Thursday, June 30, 2011

But Wait....There's More!

  Several things have changed since my
wife had her foot operation three months
 First, her foot is beginning to look
like a normal foot, with all of her
toes facing in the right direction
and no large bunion protruding from
one side to cause pain and foil her
attempts to buy shoes.
 But most of the changes involve me.
 As regular readers know I've
learned to cook a bit.
 But wait...there's more!
 I've used a few tools too. Just
yesterday I fixed a broken screen on
our porch. At first the staple gun
didn't work. But my wife pointed
out it was empty. After she
reloaded it I had no trouble
getting the screen back in place.
 Well, pretty close anyway.
 But this 'fix it' success has me
asking some questions of myself.
 Why am I so pleased to see the
Harbor Freight flyer come in the
mail? And why must I look at every
  Why do I suddenly wonder if I
might want to pick up one of those
Oscillating Variable Speed Pro
Multifunction Power Tools?
  I'm not even sure what you use
the thing for. But it looks kind
of neat and it's on sale for $20
under the usual price!
  There's a Non-Contact Infrared
Thermometer with Laser for $29.99.
  I'm just not sure how you'd
get it under your tongue.
  I spotted a neat Steam Cleaner
too. But I don't think I have any
dirty steam around the house
just now.
  I guess the point is I love to
see the sales flyer.
  It probably dates back to the
days when one of the year's
highlights was the arrival of
the Lionel  catalog!
  Of course I knew what to do
with the engines and tracks!
  When it comes to tools and me
it's still pretty much of a train
  Hope you're getting all the
flyers and that all your NEWS
is good. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More "Days Of Our Lives"

  Regular readers of my blog already
know how I love to look for those
'special days' each month that most
people don't know exist.
  Today, June 29th., for instance,is
'Waffle Iron Day!" If you haven't
already started your celebration
you might want to get your waffle
iron out of storage, whip of a bit
of batter, and have some fruit or
syrup ready for a late breakfast or
early lunch!
  But the odds are most folks
these days get their waffles from
the freezer and the old iron is
buried somewhere if they've got one
at all.
  Of course,as you know,it's also
"Camera Day!"
  So if you still have a wafffle iron
you should, at the very least,take a
picture of it!
   I like to remember 'special
dates.' And the 29th is a big one
for me even though I haven't had a
waffle for years! It doesn't even
matter in which month I'm marking
the 29th!
  I took my wife out on out first
date on the 29th. I gave her my
class right on another 29th. We
got engaged on the 29th. And guess
what date we got married? Wow,you're
really quick.
  This really works out well when
it comes to remembering.... which
gets ever harder for most of us
over the years.
  I just have to remember the 29th
of each month as some sort of
anniversary. And I get most
Februaries off!
  Maybe we'll celebrate today with
some waffles!? Wait a minute.
  I don't think we have a waffle
  Oh well,June 29th is also "Hug
Holiday Day.' That will work!
  Be sure to hug somebody who needs
one today...and may all your NEWS be

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Return To Oz!

  Remember that scene in the Wizard
Of Oz when Dorothy stepped out of
her tornado tossed house into the
beautifully manicured landscape of
 Well my wife and I decided it was
time to restore our yard to a
similar state. it was my
wife's decision!
 Anyhow I found myself back in the
yard yesterday facing the same high
grass that challenged me a few weeks
ago. The rain had made it thrive.
 If grass could think mine was
undoubtedly chuckling. And the blades
would have been reminding each other
that I was the guy with the electric
mower with the top covered in Duct
 Boy were they in for a surprise!
 My son had given us an 'extra' gas
lawn mower that had been sitting
around his place for a year or so.
 It could have been sitting around
my place too but for my wife's
urgings to do 'some yard work.'
 Since she considered the
electric mower a threat to life and
property I had no choice but to go
and buy gas for our newly acquired
 Anyone who knows me or has read a
blog or two knows that mixing
mechanical things and me is a little
like juggling swords.
 But miracles still happen!
 With a plunge or two of the primer
and one pull on the cord the mower
fired up and it had the last laugh
over those blades of grass.
 The weed whacker, however, was
another story.
 It's one inch of cutting cord
quickly disintegrated.
 I'm about as good at taking the
unit apart to restring it as I am
at doing root canal work.
 Fortunately (or unfortunately
depending on how you look at it)
my wife know how to do it.
 The new length of cord, still a
bit short, enabled me to get one
section of grass that's totally
inaccessible to a lawn mower.
 The Mrs. handled some weeds she
wanted removed so, for the moment
things are looking pretty good in
our Oz! Guess there really is
'no place like home!"
 Hope your yard is neat and that
all your NEWS is good!

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Back To The Future"

 I think it was the 'tree' I saw
while driving that gave me the
idea for today's commentary.
 It was just off Route 209 not
far from Lehighton. It caught
my attention because of the ultra
straight trunk and the thick, yet
uniform, branches scattered near
it's top.
  When you got close enough you
realized it wasn't a tree at
all. It was a cell phone tower
disguised to look like a tree!
What a great idea! Today's
technology dressed up to
reflect the natural beauty of
the area.
  The more I looked the more
I saw examples of the old and
the new working together in
   My car's radio speakers
cranked out the oldies one
after another. But the
music was coming from
outer space by way of my
XM Satellite Radio!
 Same songs. But a big
difference from my old AM
radio which mixed the music
with static from distant
  Our destination was a large
shopping outlet proud to call
itself a "General Store."
  Like the "General Stores" of
old it's merchandise included
a little bit of everything. It
was designed to look like the
kind of place where you might
gather around the stove and
trade gossip after filling
your order for supplies.
 Of course the old General
Store probably would have had
an out house for the
convenience of  customers.
 Here's where new age
technology has leaped into
the future. The commode
flushes itself. You've got to
wonder exactly how it knows
you're ready!
 The soap dispenser automatically
releases the perfect quantity
of liquid on your hands which
you then hold under a faucet
that somehow knows you're there
and ready for water!
 As if that wasn't enough
there's the new high tech
hand dryer!
 These electric hot air
blowers were initially
installed to cut down on
the use of paper towels.
 But where both were
offered customers usually
favored the paper products
over an air flow that took
two to three minutes to do
the job.
 The new hand dryers seem
to have been modeled after a
NASA wind tunnel! Their thrust
is similar to a blast off at
Cape Kennedy!
 But with dry hands you can
again decide whether you like
the old or the new at the
check out counter. They'll
happily swipe the electronic
strip on your credit or debit
 But I haven't seen anybody
yet willing to turn down some
old fashion cash!
 Hope you get back to the future
and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Hey Kids..What Time Is It?"

  I will forgive you if you answered
"It's Howdy Dowdy Time" because
that's the way that old kid's TV
program always opened..
 I, however, was thinking about the
fact that this is "Forgiveness Day!"
 It's one of those special days
that doesn't  get any attention like
the big days! 
 You know. Groundhog Day or
the Ides of March.
  I though about forgiveness a
couple times during my recent
drive to the Finger Lake region.
  It was because of the guy who
was driving just ahead of me.
  I was in no hurry so his 'crawl'
didn't bother me at first
  Then we neared the turn for
Red Rock Mountain.
   He appeared to be continuing
his journey on Route 118 and
drove more than half way through
the intersection as I began my
right hand turn.
 That's when he changed his
mind and decided it wasn't
too late to make the same turn
 For just a moment I knew
how the lookouts on the
Titanic must have felt when the
iceberg seemed to pop up out
of no where! 
 Luckily my turning speed was
slow enough to avoid a
 Speaking of slow, the man 
behind the wheel of that car
may have set a new record for
the slowest time up that steep
mountain road. I  was
still in his rear view mirror though
I doubt he ever uses it.
   Fortunately his day plans
included a stop at Lake Jean
on top of the mountain where
I was able to resume my trip at
a pace that actually moved my
   And even though it was not
the official day...I forgave him.
  As its name implies 'Forgiveness
Day" is a time to forgive others and
to be forgiven as well.
 It originated at a Christian Church in
Vancouver, Canada in 1994.
 That makes it a fairly new
observance so I'll forgive you if you
didn't know about it.
  Anyway you'll get a 'second chance'
to do your own forgiving because
while June 26th is 'Forgiveness Day'
in the United States ...Global
Forgiveness Day doesn't come
along till August 27th.
 Somebody in our country
apparently got things mixed up.
 Then again, 'To err is human,
to forgive is divine!'
  Hope all your NEWS is good!

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Hello. My Name Is Peggy!"

  You know that guy on the
Discover Card commercial who
claims his name is 'Peggy' while
he's telling you your reward points
aren't really worth anything?
 Well I think he's
 My wife got a call from a
similar sounding individual
yesterday. No wait. I take
that back.
 Judging from my wife's
description the 'Peggy' we
see on television seems like
a rocket scientist compared
to the woman who called our
 My wife knew this was going
to be one of those unwelcome
calls when the caller asked
if she was speaking to.....
'Mrs. De Caw, Dess cuss,
and so on!
  I realize our name is
not as easy as 'Smith' or
'Jones.' But the 'De' sort
of speaks for itself. And,as
far as I know 'cosmo' or some
variation thereof can be found
in most every language.
 But let's move on.
 Our 'Peggy' was apparently
trying to market a product
that makes it easy to test
your blood sugar level.
 First, to make sure it was
something we could use, she
asked if my wife had ever been
told she had "Dee-ah-bettus."
 That's the closest she
ever got to the word
'Diabetes." She did, I'm told,
try a number of variations.
 The two then got involved
in a sort of duet as the
caller never stopped talking
while my wife tried to
politely explain she wasn't
 I think anybody who wants to
have a job should have one.
 And some jobs require less
skill levels than others.
 In those cases the pay level
is undoubtedly pretty low.
 Our Peggy was probably
working for peanuts.
 I think she should be
selling them!
 A couple of blogs ago I
wrote about an area school
district's plans to drop its
Italian language class.
 Seems they've already
dumped English where ever
our 'Peggy' went to school!
 Hope you'll watch your
sugar intake and that all
your NEWS is good!


  I shared the last couple of days
with a buddy of mine who has been
my friend since grade school!
 It's pretty rare to have a
friendship that lasts that long!
 One of the things we share in
common is an interest in
  There was a time when I even
processed the film that came
out of my 1950 era Ansco Ready
Flash Camera.
  'Film' for those of you under
30,was the material you had to
load into cameras to take
pictures before electronic
cameras came along.
  Like a 'fast draw gunfighter' from
the old west digital cameras let you to
take pictures as fast as you
can press the button.
  My friend is the
'Billy The Kid' of picture taking!
  He aims at nearly
everything and, like the
'Mounties', he always gets
his man. Or woman. Or sunset.
Or tree. this
case YOU get the picture.
  My wife, his wife, and I
had an informal bet as we
drove the mile or so from
our motel to the main highway.
  The challenge was to guess
how many times he would stop
to take a picture before we
reached our downtown
  I thought he'd stop once
to get a shot of a beautiful
old building on the hill.
  He did. Then he stopped
to get the barn near the
building. Then he spotted
a nice landscape shot.
 And the 'clicks' never
stopped coming!
 (By the way, the makers of
your digital camera added
that clicking sound because
people were used to hearing it
when taking pictures! It
isn't a mechanical noise
made by the camera!)
 As my friend pulled over every
here and there to capture another
image we still faced a 14
mile ride into town!
  I mean this guy even takes
pictures of pictures!
  I don't remember the total
number  he shot on that ride.
  I downloaded his digital chip
into my computer and counted
373 pictures from he moment we
met for our two day stay until
he drove away with one hand
on the wheel and the other
on his camera!
  I don't take still shots
anymore. But I do shoot a lot
of home video.
  Sometimes I even get video
of my buddy taking pictures!
  Who knows? Maybe we can use
it to get him into the
Guinness Book of World Records!
 Watch the birdie! And may all your
NEWS be good!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"A Three Hour Cruise"

 OK. I admit to taking some literary
license with the title.
  We only signed up for a one hour      
rental of the pontoon boat at our
motel's dock on Lake Seneca
   The paperwork and safety
lecture only made it seem like three
   Back in the day you only needed
part or all of the rental fee and a
driver's license to take the craft of
your choice for a short sail.
   Now you've got to sign and
initial detailed forms that basically
say you've bought the boat for
the duration of your excursion!
   The safety instructions, of course,
were both welcome and
informative. You get enough
life preservers for more people
than the boat can legally carry.
   There are safety flares, a
whistle, and even a sort of
"SOS Flag" you can wave
around while you're sinking!
  There was even an oar set aside
on the deck! That, we were told,
is available for your wife should
the motor conk out!
   Eventually we had been
debriefed enough to begin our
60 minute journey.
   The boat had a lot of fancy
dials and switches. One was
a depth gauge. I marveled as it
quickly began changing
readings from the three and a
half feet of water under our keel
at the dock to the 585 feet as
I navigated near the center of the
beautiful lake.
   We learned later that was the
maximum reading for the gauge.
  The lake is actually over 700
feet deep! As I reminded my
wife (who is 5'2) once it gets
over 6 feet deep it's hard to touch
bottom and keep your head above
  We had motored nearly 30
minutes when I spotted the haze
and  disturbance off to the north.
   I've fished enough to realize
that a rainstorm was moving in
quickly so we ought to think
about moving out!
   We didn't avoid all of the
shower. But we were already
heading back to our local port
when we caught sight of the
rainbow off to the east! And
we were able to tie up at the dock
before the heavy downpour
could dampen us or our day!
  In the end our cruise turned out
to be more like 40 minutes than
three or even one hour.
  But I got us back to port in
one piece with no stops on any
deserted island!
  Gilligan and the Skipper would
have been proud!
  Happy sailing. And may all of
your NEWS be good! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Remember where you were when.......

 I've got a buddy with a tremendous
memory. Not to mention sticky notes
and scraps of paper on which he writes
reminders to himself. If he remembers
where the notes are he can tell you
where he an I were on, as an example,
Columbus Day, 1956.
 By the way we were building a fort
in the woods near my Great Uncle
Charley's cabin in Saint Johns just
outside Hazleton.
 Anyhow I can't remember dates and
places as well as my friend.
 But I can tell you where I was on
June 22nd in 1972. I can tell you
where I was on the 23rd, 24th and
every day for the rest of that month
and into July as well. In fact I
called my wife to tell her I'd be home
a little late and didn't get there
for two and a half days! Even then I
couldn't stay!
 That's when Tropical Storm Agnes
struck Wyoming Valley.
 I was News Director of WILK Radio
at the time and we were the area's
'Emergency Alert Station' for the
 As the waters of the Susquehanna
River began to rise to a dangerous
level I decided to go to the
Courthouse where are station had a
two way radio. That way I didn't
have to bother the Civil Defense
Officials with constant phone calls
for updates.
 But the individual assigned to
handle public information for Civil
Defense couldn't get in.
 Does anybody remember what the
term 'drafted' means?
 Well I was.
 It was an experience
unequaled in my news career!
 I saw the Pierce Street Bridge
get washed away!
 I was broadcasting a report from
Civil Defense in the sub basement
of the Courthouse when water started
to gush into the room from what should
have been the drain! Being a
'trained observer' I decided to leave
the room and move somewhere higher!
 I carried documents dating from the
1700's upstairs to try to keep them
from being lost.
 And I worked an Army field telephone
wired from the temporary CD
headquarters to the old WYZZ FM
while directing a network of  13 usually
competitive radio stations to air
flood emergency reports.
 We did that once at hour
for several 'weeks after the waters
went back within their banks.
 We only lost one report!
 Two kids saw the wire running up
the street and decided to play jump
 Then President Nixon called it 'the
worst natural disaster to hit the
United States' up till that time.
 But the work of volunteers,National
Guard, students who sandbagged, Civil
Defense and those great newsmen and DJ's
who took shifts on that emergency
radio network contributed to a very
low death toll in our area.
 Let's face it folks. Some things
you can't remember. Some others
you'll never forget!
 Keep you feet dry and may all your
NEWS be good!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again!

 We've all heard it before. Many broadcasters
complain about the way their business is run.
 The hours can be terrible. You work a lot
of holidays. Often they get assignments that
are unpleasant.
  When you hear those kinds of things you're
tempted to tell them to get into something
  But you're just as likely to hear the reply
...'What? Get out and leave show
 You never really leave the business
even if the business has left you!
 That was the case with me when my
station decided to drop local news.
  Almost immediately I started to
volunteer at the area's public
access station to keep one foot in the
  Some other area broadcast
veterans are getting 'back in the
  Dave Kuharchik never totally left
the field. The former WYOU
weather forecaster did some part time
work on the air in Harrisburg while
doing some teaching as well.
  Dave has returned to the area at
WBRE where he will co-host a new
Public Affairs program that begins
in  September. Till then he'll be
doing some weather reports on the
  Frank Andrews is back too!
  He and his wife Gabrielle have
started a Saturday morning 'talk
show' on 94.3FM "The Talker."
  Gabrielle was a reporter with
  In Frank's case he comes 'full
circle' in a sense because his first
job in broadcasting was at WCDL
in Carbondale. 94.3 used to be
  Getting back in broadcasting is
a lot like getting back in the saddle.
  But that saddle is on a bucking bronco!
  The business is ever changing
and not always for the better.
   Just about the time you get use to
a format, an anchor or reporter, or
the look of a TV News set a
consultant comes in and tells the
bosses they've got to change things
to build their audience.
  Of course the first thing that happens
when they change is losing the
audience that already have.
  Those constant changes are what
make broadcasting such a revolving
door of talent!
  If the Titanic had as many anchors
as I've seen come and go it could never
have left port!
  It's nice to know that some of the
people we liked to hear or watch 'way
back when' are still 'riding the range.'
  Others have found new homes off
the air. But you  might be surprised at
the number of listeners or viewers who
always ask...'what ever happened to
  I get that a lot!
 People in the restaurants or the
supermarkets who will give me a glance
and say..." I know you. What's your name?"
 I usually remember. And I never get tired of
it. It's nice to know that somebody noticed
even if they're not really sure with whom
they're speaking.
  I can almost picture myself riding off
into the sunset and hearing people say
"There goes whats his name!"
  Then again they always knew who the
masked man was!
  See you "Kimosabe" and may all your
NEWS be good!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mama Mia!

 Can it possibly be true? The Hazleton Area
School Board is planning to phase out its
Italian language classes! According to a
published report the district will eliminate
First year Italian in the 2011-2012 curriculum.
  Hazleton, for those who don't already
know, was my home town. My family, like
nearly one quarter of the population, has
Italian roots.
  My grandmother, who passed away when
I was only three, spoke only Italian.
  Somebody, perhaps family, maybe a principal,
talked me into taking Italian when I got to
High School. I firmly believe the teacher
would have had a few choice Italian
words to say to that individual after having
me in class for a few days!
 Ironically ...( and by the way the word 'irony'
comes from Latin..which was used in Rome..
which we all know is in Italy)....ironically
my teacher was Mr. Persico. Years later
I would find myself working with his brother,
John Perry, at  WDAU TV. In fact we remain
close friends to this day.
  I'm guess Mr. Persico didn't tell John much
about my 'abilities' in his class.
  In fact had the success of the Italian language
program been based on my success it probably
would have been dropped in 1957!
  Understand that everybody I knew in
Hazleton back then knew at least a few
Italian words. Most of those you were
allowed to use had to do with eating.
  You never left an aunt's house before being
dragged before a table loaded with food then
hearing the words "Mangia, mangia!"
("Eat, eat!)
  But knowing how to say a few words and
spelling them or conjugating verbs are very
different things!
  I don't know if it was for his benefit or
mine. But Mr. Persico put me in the first
seat in the first row nearest the door so I
could leave quickly when the bell rang.
   The School District will continue
advanced Italian classes for a few years
so those who have taken First year can
complete their studies. Some of those,
however, will probably be on line
  I took a few 'advances Italian courses'
too. I went to see 'Scarface' and 'The
  Then I saw all three chapters of  'The
Godfather' which should be good
enough for a  'Master's Degree!'
  Taking Italian out of Hazleton High
School seems like taking the cheese
off the pizza!  Mama Mia!
  Maybe the School Board members
will stop.....smell the pepperoni.....
and reverse their decision for the
sake of local history.
  Maybe somebody can make them
an offer they can't refuse?
  But, if it must go, I wish all who have
studied far better than I....."Buona
Fortuna." (Good luck)
  Arrivederci! And may all of your
NEWS be good!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Children Of All Ages!"

  We overloaded our minivan just a bit
as the wife and I,our four grand kids,
a niece and her son headed out to see
the circus!
 We probably looked like those clowns
in the old days who were jammed into
the little Volkswagen. Everybody
wondered how they did it.
 Some wondered why.,
 Maybe they, like us, were facing a ten
dollar a car parking fee!
 That's plenty good reason for crowding
a lot of clowns, or family, into one car!
 The show was in a big arena rather
than under the "Big Top."
  You see there are all kinds of circuses
these days! 
 This one was the 'Cirque Du Soleil.'
 It's a tremendous show with extremely
talented acrobats,and a cast of very
entertaining performers.
 And ,though it's very different from
the circus I remember, it took me back
to the days when my Dad worked
spotlight for Ringling Brothers,Barnum,
and Bailey at the old Madison Square
Garden in New York City.
 That was especially nice with Father's
Day at hand.
 My Mom and I would go to visit Dad while
he worked a few weeks away from his job
as a motion picture projectionist.
 I can still see the famous three
ring set up and remember the
excitement of ' The Greatest Show
On Earth!'
 There was always a little booth of
seats set up for the circus owners.
 But they almost never came so my
Dad's union buddies would have my
Mom and I sit there.
 Just before the show started Dad
would aim his spotlight on our
seats and everyone in the
audience wondered who we were.
 Maybe that's where I learned to
enjoy being in the spotlight!
 I remember the smell of the circus
 Of course Ringling Brothers had
Animal Acts.
 With apologies to those who oppose
the idea, I loved seeing the animals!
 I think most kids did. And still do.
 I won't pretend to know how they
were treated when out of my sight. But
I spent plenty of time behind the
scenes where the ones I saw were all
well cared for as part of the circus family.
 Cirque Du Soleil presented a great
show. But it doesn't use any
animals. Maybe they heard the popcorn
was going for six dollars a bag and
decided to leave them at home.
 The circus, animals or not is still
a lot of fun for children of all
ages. But you might consider filling
them with food before you go!
  I really enjoyed the acts, the clowns
and the music. I especially liked
watching the beams from the
spotlights trained on the performers.
  It made me think of my Dad who
always made me feel like I was in the
Center Ring!
 Hope your life is spent there too
and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


    In the broadcasting industry
timing is everything. You get
to the story in the fastest
time possible. You roll the
video just in time to catch
the 'perp' as police walk
him by! You write your script
in the car to save time. You
edit and record your story
in the allotted 60 to 90
seconds and you get it on the
air at the exact time it's
scheduled to run on the
 Your wrist watch, your
stop watch, and the studio
wall clock are all there to
keep you on time.
 Here's the thing.
 Since I 'retired' I'm
becoming more and more
amazed by time!
 I have two wrist watches.
 I think they're both
somewhere on the top shelf
of my dresser. But I don't
really know because I don't
wear them anymore.
 My TV is set to go off at
6:30 every morning.
 But I nearly always wake
up at 6:29 and wait a minute
to turn the set off the
second the picture comes on!
 Occasionally I'll leave it
on for two minutes in the hope
of catching a brief weather
forecast for the day.
 If I'm greeted with early
morning comedy or a tease
so general it demands I keep
watching...I don't!
 Some timing seems to be just
 When my wife waited one extra
minute to get something in the
house before we headed out the
other day I could have won
money had I bet the rain would
wait to fall the second we
stepped out the front door so
we would get wet!
 It did and we were.
 And how does our
Cockatiel know to start
making a fuss at exactly 8pm
when it's time to cover his cage?      
 He doesn't even have a wrist
let alone a watch!
 I had that 'natural timing' for
 I used to be able to sit in a
dark movie theater and tell my
wife the time within one minute
without ever looking at my
 These days I can still come
pretty close.But I don't have
  I'd love to spend a few more
minutes writing this blog. But
I think it's time to take a nap!
  Hope your watch is wound and
that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, June 17, 2011

"We'll Remember Always...Graduation Day."

  The song 'Graduation Day' proved to
be a hit recording for several groups
including The Four Freshmen and The
Lettermen among others.
 It truly is a day most of us will
remember. For all kinds of reasons!
 We were invited to a High School
Commencement for a friend of the
 We, along with hundreds of other
people, watched as the proud young
students marched across the stage
to receive their diplomas.
 What I didn't know was they
weren't really getting them!
 The folders they received were empty!
 This after the President of the
School Board and Superintendent of
Schools expressed their pride and
trust in the qualities of these
young men and women.
  But those trust worthy kids had
to report to school the following
day to make sure they were square
with records and any debts before
they got their real diplomas.
 I'm not sure why someone couldn't
have done that paperwork before
  We were asked to hold our applause
till after all the students were
introduced and got a photo with one
of the school board members who
were handing out the empty folders.
  Of course many in the audience
ignored the request and used everything
from shouts to air horns to acknowledge
the particular student they came to
  I guess they were 'clapped out'
by the time the final student left
the stage because nobody applauded
at that point.
 My own High School Graduation
was held in my school's football stadium.
  I was a manager for the football
team in my freshmen year. I wasn't
thrilled lugging the team's laundry
around or lifting one end of the
stretcher as we carried injured
players off the field so I
switched to the stage crew the
following year.
  I do remember walking across that
same field when my name was called.
  I was one of about 450 graduates
and our ceremony was so long I got
to wishing someone would get the
stretcher for me!
  That was a lot of years ago.
  But the lyrics of the song are
accurate. You'll always remember
Graduation Day. And whether your
diploma was actually in the folder
or not the memories will become
more treasured as years go by!
  Congratulations graduates!
  And may all your NEWS be good!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Talk Radio!

  I was back on the air at my
old stomping ground, WILK Radio,
 I was News Director there for a
lot of years back in the mid 60's
and early 1970's.
 My return, however, came as a
caller to one the station's
talk shows.
 Sue Henry was discussing a
survey which suggests that
young people don't know enough
about history.
 I've always liked history.
 I've even lived through a lot
of it. And some of it involves
'Talk RADIO!'
 I did my own talk show at a
radio station in Berwick many
years ago.
 It's always a challenge.
 First you've got to come up with
a topic that will,hopefully,
attract both listeners and people
willing to call in on the air
to express their opinions.
 Some people with strong
opinions won't call because
they're afraid someone
will recognize their voice.
 A few will try to disguise
their voice. It's usually
with a 'southern type' accent.
 Generally they sound lousy.
 Sometimes you get callers who
are a little too expressive!
 That's why there's a tape
delay system. It gives
the announcer or the producer
time to 'beep out' words that
aren't suppose to be used on the
radio.....or anywhere else in
polite society!
  Then there are the subjects
that can't even attract flys!
  You get no calls and there's
no indication anybody is tuned
in. You wonder if you should
call in those 'Paranormal
Investigators' to see if there's
anybody out there!  
  Hosts trying to get people to
talk on the radio can be like
detectives trying to get a
suspect to confess his guilt!
  Maybe we need more 'Good
cop/bad cop hosts!
  Anyhow it was nice to be
back on the air even for just
a couple of minutes.
  And I didn't even try to
disguise my voice.
  That's all I've got to talk
about right now except to say
I hope all your NEWS is good!   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Shopping Network!

 My wife and I did some shopping
yesterday. Some "selective shopping."
 We intentionally stayed away from
the so-called "Big Box stores" to
try to find some bargains at the
smaller market places.
 There are some big differences.
 And they're not all in the prices!
 Go to the big store and you'll
hear a lot of people with that
"Thank for for shopping" such and
such line. That's nice, polite, and
pleasant. But it also gets to be a
little routine.
 When we stopped at the small
produce stand we heard all about
how the clerk got his
hands slapped by the nun in
parochial school because the sister
remembered something the guy's
father did when he was a student!
 Too bad we didn't have more time
to get the whole story!
 There's automatic doors at the
big chain store outlets.
 Come on now! You should be getting
some exercise while you're working
your way between the aisles of
baked goods and ice cream.
 Before we got to check out the
oranges, apples, and pears we got
to work our way around an
obstacle course of construction
men and equipment as they dug a
trench and set up police-like
yellow tape as close as possible
to the entrance door....which,
under normal circumstances, would
have been the exit.
 We not only got the goods.
 We got the blood flowing.
 But the small shops and the big
stores do have one thing in
 You know those rolled plastic
bags you pull out for your fruit?
 I still can't open them!
 I rub what I believe is the top
between my fingers. But as hard as
I try it still looks like a single
sheet of plastic.
 I believe market owners, large
and small, have specifically
designed the containers so they can
only be open by a wife. And only
after a man has fooled with the
bag for five minutes without
 I think that's why you usually
see women doing the shopping!
 We also hit one of those 'budget
bakery' outlets. You know. The
places where you can get a lot of
those 'three of these for five
dollars deals!'
 You go because you need things
like bread and rolls and they're
cheap there.
 But they're not stupid! They also
set out 50 kinds of 'snack products'
that are just too attractive to
pass. So you end up with three
loaves of bread and two bags
filled with chips, donuts, and
other goodies you probably
wouldn't have bought had you
gone to your regular grocery store.
 Come to think of it I think I'm
hungry for a couple of those
fig bars!
 Time to check out now.
 Hope all your NEWS is good! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We pause for Station Identification

  You can imagine my surprise when I
received an email Monday containing
the label "22 News" in the subject
 Had my old station been
resurrected? And, if so,might I find
myself back on the road seeking
people who...."Never knew anything
like that could happen around here."
 Perish the thought!
 I opened the message and found
news items about the Commonwealth
Medical College and the expected
impact of budget cuts.
 It included color photos related
to the news items.
 Wow. This looked like real items
from "22 News!"
 Then I looked a little closer.
 It was actually an email
newsletter sent on behalf of
Pennsylvania Senator John Blake.
 For those who might not know
Mr. Blake is the Senator from
Pennsylvania's 22nd Senatorial
District. Hence..."22" and
"News"...from the Senator.
 It's good to know what station
you're watching, or listening
to, or reading about.
 Of course you can't always depend
on what you hear!
 Our NBC affiliate also does
news for the local Fox outlet.
 One young new weather caster got
the two mixed up the other night.
 And a popular regional 'talk
show' host just caught herself in
time as she started to give the
call letters for a local college
radio station where she lends a
 I can't laugh too loud.
 I remember entertaining a
visitor at a radio station where
I once worked.
 He asked if I had ever mistakenly
given the call letters of the
station where I started my career.
 I told him "No" then promptly
opened the microphone and gave
the wrong station identification!
 And I can remember having to
think twice many times in
the weeks right after WDAU
changed it's name to WYOU!
 Maybe the Senator can get some
time there to deliver his
"22 News" report. It only
seems fitting.
 Wherever you get your NEWS
I hope it's all good!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Time Travel!

 That WDAU/WYOU Reunion
Saturday night brought a lot of
old friends together for the first
time in many years. 
 And wow! How time flies!
 But time, like a lot of other things,
is relative!
 That's why I had mixed reactions
when I heard about some area High
School students that were digging
up a time capsule.
  I thought, perhaps, there might
be items from the Civil War or
photos of their community when
trolley tracks lined the streets.
  But it was not to be!
  This time capsule was all of
eight years old!
  I don't even think it had time
to rust!
  To be absolutely fair it was
kind of a neat experiment. These
same students, along with a few
who have since moved, buried the
capsule and its treasures when
they were in 4th grade.
    They had some photos and letters
about themselves written in their
grade school class.
  I still think I, and they, would
have been a lot more impressed
if they had waited 20 or 25
years to look into their past.
   On the other hand they've
probably learned a few things.
  Hopefully one of them will be
to put a water proof seal on
any future time capsules they
 Those notes looked a bit
 I'd probably like seeing some
notes and photos from when I
was in the 4th grade.
 But they would probably have
decomposed by now.
 The school is still there. But it
has long since been converted
to an apartment complex which
is the only thing that saved it
from decomposing!
 There's one other consideration
that tends to support the
student's decision to open the
capsule now.
  I buried a few small coins one
time to have some fun later
digging them up with my kids.
  Now I've got grand kids and
could have fun digging up the
coins with them....IF I could
only remember just where I buried
  Guess we'll have to take some
time to look around!
 Hope all you NEWS, past,present
and future, is good!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Night At The Museum!

   Remember the movie "Night at the
Museum" when the dinosaur and all the
other exhibits came to life?
 Well the same thing happened at
Stirna's Restaurant in Scranton last
night. Except this time is was old
broadcasters that took over the place!
 They came for the 2nd annual
WDAU/WYOU reunion.
 Talk about 'oldies but goodies!'
 Many were there in person while
others came to life in the stories
and memories of the old WDAU (later
 Channel 22 produced some of the
best broadcasters in the
business over the years.
  You never got a chance to meet or
see many of them because they were
secretaries,sales men and women,
cameramen. and producers who
always worked behind the scenes.
  On and Off Air veterans
shared their memories of the 'good
old days.'
  Several recalled the late News
Director Tom Powell who checked
every word of every story written
after it had aired.
  I always wondered why he didn't
do that before we broadcast the
story so we could 'correct' our
mistakes before we shared them with
all the viewers.
  Tom was fussy! I remember getting
a script back with the word 'per'
in the phrase 'miles per hour.'
circled in red. Tom told me "We
don't use Latin."
  But we all learned from Tom and
some current reporters could use a
few of his red circles!
  Some of the guys at the reunion
worked at the station when we were
still using film.
  I remember the times the film
broke while in the processor.
  They got it fixed and rolling
as soon as possible but the finished
product was a little like Goldilocks
 and the porridge.
   Some of the film was too light.
   Some was way too dark.
   And some was just right!
   I spent part of my reunion time
visiting with the 'weather guys',
Derry Bird, Barry Finn, Scott
Stuccio, and Dave Kuharchik.
   We had a lot in common.
   They all told you about the
terrible snow storms we were
having then sent me out in them to
show you just how terrible they were!
    Thanks guys!
    Some folks couldn't make the
gathering. They were separated from
us by distance or other responsibilities.
     Their ears must have been burning
throughout the night as nary a name
was left unspoken!
    There was, undoubtedly,several
hundred years worth of experience
and know how represented by the
people at our 'Night at the Museum.'
     And I'll bet everyone there
would be more than happy to share
that wealth of knowledge with people
in the business today.
     Too bad nobody covered the event!
     Hope all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Extreme Chef Meets Top Gear!

   Back in May I was told  my
 Miata was in need of one new tire.
  I guess I put too much stuff in
 the left side of that tiny trunk
 cause it's the tire underneath
 that needed to be replaced.
  I called my favorite garage
 and learned the crew there
 could take care of me about
  You're probably not real
 impressed with those few details.
  But you would be if you used the
 garage I use!
  An appointment anytime between
 11am and 1pm means you'll be there
 for lunch!
  If these guys ever decided
 to hang up their wrenches they
 could make a fortune by selling
 the food prepared by their wives!
  Everyday it seems there's a new
 batch of home made food delivered in
 time for lunch. And like the loaves and fish
 there's always enough to feed everybody
 who happens to be around!
  It's a family repair shop where
 customers are made to feel right
 at home and barbershop-like
 conversation is as important as
 aligning wheels or checking your
 windshield wipers.
  While one car was having it's oil
 changed those of us in the shop
 where selecting the oil dressing for
 a salad filled with greens, raisins,
 tomatoes, cheese, and olives.
  And while one of the family
 mechanics was mounting my new
 'Powermax' tire we were sampling
 two kinds of white pizza. One
 filled with cheese and ham and
 another with cheese and salami!
  A third tray was scheduled to
 arrive but, unfortunately, my car
 was finished and ready to roll!
  These same guys always set out a
 table of goodies around Christmas
 week for anyone who happens to stop
 by for repairs, or just to say
  There was a time when businesses
 thrived on good relationships,service,
 and customer satisfaction.
  It's still alive and well at this
 small auto shop and it sure seems to
 work well for the guys here!
  In fact I'm wondering if there's
 anything else I can have done so I
 can make it back in time for desert!
  Hope your car is running smoothly
 and that all your NEWS is good!      

Friday, June 10, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

 I have been a Yankee fan ever since
my Dad took me to the old Yankee
Stadium when I was just a little kid.
 Those were the grand days of Mickey
Mantle, Bobby Richardson, Yogi Berra,
and Billy Martin before he began his
string of managerial stints with the
  Back then you could catch most of
the games on WPIX TV out of New York
  Of course you had to have cable to
do that or be close enough to the
"Big Apple" to pick up the signal.
  When it came to the World Series
the games were carried on NBC.
  Back then they were played in the
afternoon and, since it was October,
we had to count on the kindness of
teachers who moved their class to
the auditorium where a screen was
set up on the stage and tuned to
the 'Fall Classic."
   I think we had a lot of teachers
who were baseball fans because I
can't remember missing many innings!
   Time went by. TV added color to
the games, literally, and baseball
went under the lights.
   I still got WPIX while they had
the Yankee franchise and you could
always catch the game on some area
radio station.
   In fact that caused me a bit of
trouble when I got into the
   My station,WTHT in Hazleton,
carried the Yankee games. But WTHT
was a 'daytime' station. We were
forced to go off the air at
sundown. Unfortunately nobody
told the players we had a time limit.
   On more then just one occasion
I had to turn off the transmitter
long before the final out of the
9th inning.
   We did get a lot of phone calls!
   I heard a lot of new words but
was never able to use any of them
on the air.
   As a fan I shared their
   All these years later I still do!
   These days I can only catch my
team on radio thanks to my XM
satellite receiver.
   I had thought I could watch
all the games on TV by tuning to
YES, the Yankee's own television
   But some of those games have
been sold off to stations like
'My9' which isn't carried on my
Direct TV.
   On this evening I found that
the YES Network and three other
stations carrying the Yankee game
are blacked out in my area.
   I have found that I can 'watch'
(and I use that term loosely) the
game by tuning to my Direct TV
sports Mix which has eighth screens
showing on one. You can move a
sort of cursor over the screen
you want and one of them does have
the Yankee game on.
  Of course I'm ten feet away from
the TV trying to capture all the
action on a screen that I have
just measured at 6 inches.
  You tend to miss a lot!
  I guess, in a sense, I'm ahead
of the game.
  When we use to camp close
enough to New York to get WPIX
I had a black and while portable
with only a 5 inch screen!
  Tonight I've got a color picture
that's a whole inch bigger!
  I love this 'High Tech' stuff!
   Hope you catch all your games
and that all your NEWS is good!   

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quiet On The Set!

     The cameras were rolling in Pittston
on Wednesday as I 'resumed' my movie
career cut short when Henry Winkler
took over a part I had shot a couple of
years back.
   Five of us and some extras sat round
a picnic table in a back yard overlooking
the Susquehanna River while a small army
of unsung workers set up props, cameras,
light reflectors, and a portable sound
   Others worked on makeup and wardrobe.
   Still more controlled traffic to keep
unwanted vehicles from making an
appearance in the background.
   It's all part of area native Chris
Fetchko's movie "Trust Me"  the bulk of
which is being shot right here in
northeastern Pennsylvania.
  The lead is played by a bright
young actor from New York, Sean
Modica. The cast also features
Lynn Cohen who has appeared
in both the TV and movie
versions of "Sex In The City."
   Those of you on Face Book can
get updates on the production by
typing Trust Me in the search line.
    My part is set at a family
cook out.
    The scene is actually short. But
it has to be shot many times to allow
the camera to focus on specific
individuals as they deliver their lines.
    We started around 4:45.
    It was about 95 degrees!
    They set out real food on the table
in front of us. After all this was a
picnic scene.
    But after only two takes it was a
safe bet the beans had already
baked themselves in the bowl where
they sat!
    The salad will undoubtedly look
good on screen. But if we had to
actually eat to act we would have been
in big trouble.
     Being a 'trained observer  'and
a good eater I quickly realized the
heat had no effect on the potato chips
so we all had something on which to
munch in between takes!
     My hats off to all involved in
the production. It's a great and
very unique story with some twists
that would make Hitchcock proud!
     It's too soon to know if my
few lines will qualify for 'the
Academy's' attention.
     But trust me, "Trust Me' is
worthy of yours!
     Cut...print...that's a wrap.
     And I hope all of your NEWS
is good!            

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This Old House!

    She never said it out loud. But
just about the time they were
sedating my wife for her foot
surgery in April I'd be willing
to bet she pulled an Arnold
Schwarzenegger and vowed....
"I'll be back!"
 I know that because she is
just about her old self even
though full recovery is still
weeks if not months ahead.
 One day before the stitches
from her second operation were
to be removed she decided we
must have a small section of
fence to plug some of the
space between our two backyard
sheds left vacant when some of
our evergreens were cut down
last week.
 The worker at Home Depot who
loaded the 6 by 4 foot fence
into my aging Suburban must
have had some pain of his
own. I'd describe his
personality more specifically
but I'm not sure he had one.
 I suggested we call a friend
to see if he might be available
to put the fence in place but
my wife insisted she could handle
one end if I walked slow enough
so she could keep up on her
 I violated the rules and picked
it up myself to put in place.
 My wife rattled off the location
of the hammer and nails then stood
back to make sure I had it level
before I anchored it in place.
 All done right? No way!
 Since the Suburban was still
parked in front she suggested it
would be a good time to do some
Duct tape repairs to its rusting
 We actually tried our can of that
new Duct tape spray. It must be
an excellent sealer because it sealed
itself inside its ten dollar can!
 It's now in a larger can where we
put the weekly trash.
 I switched to the regular Duct tape
to do the job after my wife old me
where I could find it.
 Now she's talking about some new
plants here and there and, perhaps,
paining that new section of fence.
 So, as you can see, things are
beginning to get back to normal at
our place.
 The Foreman...I wife is
 Hope all your NEWS is good!    

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Galloping Gourmet!

  As I begin I must confess I have
taken some liberties with the title
of today's commentary.
  In all honesty it should probably
be called 'The Hobbling Gourmet.'
  You see it was not Graham Kerr that
set up the frying pan on our kitchen
stove yesterday. It was, rather, my wife!
  For those not immediately
impressed with that revelation
consider the fact that she has spent
the past 8 weeks recovering from
not one, but two surgeries on the
same foot!
  For those same 8 weeks I have
attempted to provide the majority
of meals cooked,heated, or reheated
on those burners.
  I'm thinking it was the quality
of those menus that has prompted
my 'better half' to combine the
maneuverability of her walker and
a crutch to reclaim the culinary
territory that has been her domain
throughout our married life.
  Her return was marked with an
offering of sausage, peppers, and
onions. I didn't know they came in
'sets' like that!
 I made sausage one night.
 Of course she had to give me
instructions. But I followed them!
 I even found some corn to heat up
in the microwave. 
  She didn't even use the microwave
except, perhaps, to defrost the
meat as it came out of the freezer.
  Hey that microwave has saved
many a day over the past 8 weeks
especially when the evening meal
I produced consisted of left
overs from restaurants we had
visited during her
  I'm not sure if the evening's
dinner represented a permanent
return or just a visit.
  But it was sure nice to get a
break after 8 weeks.
  Come to think of it she just
had her first break after 42 years.
  Guess I'll have to take her to
lunch one of these days!
  Hope all your NEWS is good!     

Monday, June 6, 2011

American Restoration

 I wonder if you've seen that new show
on the History Channel where the guy
and his crew take old things like
appliances and such and fix them up
like brand new.
 That's one TV show I couldn't do.
 My abilities to 'fix' or 'restore' things
are not only limited. They are generally
non existant!
I just cut the grass at our lake front
camper two weeks ago.
 The old mower, which had been parked
outside under a tarp throughout the
winter fired up with just one pull of
the cord and it's year old gasoline
kept it running long enough for me
to mow two lawns and disturb about
two hundred gnats!
 But that was two weeks ago.
 The same mower, now rested for 14
days, refused to start when my buddy
and I returned to tackle another
inch growth of grass.
 After some ten minutes the mower
finally sprang to life.
 But after just a few passes it died
again. This time, as we attempted to
restart it, the pull-cord broke.
 I have a few talents.
 None of them have anything to do with
 I have always believed that one of
the reasons I was placed on earth was
to provide a living wage for plumbers,
electricians, and auto mechanics.
 It was therefore with some
trepidation that I heard my friend
suggest we disassemble the
top of the mower to restring what was
left of starting cord.
 When I was a kid I played around with
a tape recorder.
 My buddy, on the other hand, fooled
around with machines like lawnmowers.
 He skillfully removed the top providing
a view of what looked like either a
broken Slinky or a large watch spring.
 I acted the physician's assistant
holding this or that while he
tightened the spring and reinstalled
the reel-like apparatus on which the
now shortened pull rope is wound.
 That's the best I can describe it
because I still don't understand how
the blasted thing works!
 But it did.
 Of course there is still another
problem having to deal with the choke.
 That's the part that determines how
much air the motor gets.
 When we got the mower restarted it
sped up for about 4 seconds then
nearly stalled for the next 8.
 Like I said I'm not mechanic.
 But my timing has always been good.
 I moved he mower forward during its
4 seconds of speed then held it
motionless while it slowed down for
 When I slowly moved onto the
adjoining lawn which belongs to my
pastor the mower suddenly sped up
to a steady dependable speed!
 Somebody up there likes him!
 There's been some talk about
installing new parts on the old
 It should now be obvious to you
that my buddy or some repairman
will have to handle that.
 Meanwhile I'll either try to
perfect my timing or pray a lot
more next time that grass needs a
 Hope all your NEWS is good!



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ax Men

 "See the tree how big it's grown!
  But friends it hasn't been too
 long it wasn't big."
  I must admit to having mixed
 emotions when we learned
 our park manager had hired a
 company to take down some of
 the tall timbers in our
  The decision as to which were
 to fall was left up to us. We
 had five huge evergreens
 greens on our lot.
  And I remember when my wife
 planted them some 42 years ago.
  Just as in the old Bobby
 Goldsboro ballad they were little
 more than twigs back then.
  Not any more!
  Each towered 30 to 40 feet above
 our house.
  We had been toying with the idea
 they should be cut back or cut
 down for some time.
  Probably since the day a few
 years back when we saw the ground
 beneath a much smaller sixth
 tree move up and down as the
 limbs swayed in the wind.
  In case you hadn't noticed
 the wind seems to have picked up
 across the country lately.
  That may have figured into our
 decision to let these lumberjacks
 do their thing.
  Armed with little more with a
 chainsaw, ropes,and climbing
 spikes they scaled the trees
 to the top then cut their way
 through the branches on their
 way back down.
  The trunks left behind were
 carefully cut and dropped
 exactly where these woodsmen
 wanted them to fall.
  I had hoped they might have
 carved a bear or eagle on
 their way down but the
 emphasis here was on speed
 and efficiency.
  In fact they might have been
 a little too fast.
  I had expected to hear somebody
 yell 'Timber' as each fell.
  If anybody did it was drown
 out by the noise of the saw
 and the large shredder that
 turned the branches into a
 sort of evergreen salad.
  Don't get too close to that
  I'm sure we'll miss the
 shade. And it's a good bet
 some local birds and at least
 one squirrel are upset with us.
  The sap from those limbs on
 top of our car will not be
 missed. And we may find
 ourselves sleeping a bit
 better when the high winds
 blow through on those dark and
 stormy nights.
  So rest easy if you're in
 our neighborhood, unless you're
 one of those birds, and let's
 hope all your NEWS is good.


Saturday, June 4, 2011


   Friday turned into a really great day
for me.
  I didn't really know it was Friday.
  'Retirement' should come with a
warning label! You can suddenly find
yourself busier than ever and days
begin to run together.
  If you have been following this
blog you know that I auditioned for
a small part in a new movie that's
to be filmed right here in
northeastern Pennsylvania!
  After a morning phone call I can
now thank the producers of
"Trust Me" for trusting me with that
  I'll have much more on that as
things develop.
  It's a great opportunity. 
  But wait...there's more!
  I've been scanning my emails much
too quickly lately deleting anything
that didn't look like a legitimate
message from a friend.
  But a slower, closer look has
reveled many many more opportunities
that I've been ignoring out of my
haste to clear my 'Inbox.'
  Did you know, for instance, that
I have been selected to be a
"Secret Shopper?"  A whole new career
awaits me right in my own home area
if I only follow through on that
  Apparently I've missed out on
a dozen or more laptops that could
have been sent out to me had I
responded to those emails.
  There's another that tells me I
may be eligible for a grant to go
back to school and one more that
encourages me to check my free,three
Credit Scores!
 This morning Walmart was trying to
give me a 'free' gift card.
And there was word from "Secure
Ap" that my $1,000 may have
arrived. I was just out on the front
porch but I don't see it there!
 What's with all this good news?
  Most of these have all show up in
a category which Yahoo and Hotmail
label as "SPAM."
  That should have been a clue to
me right off the bat! I always
liked 'Spam." Especially fried with
a little mustard.
  According to an old Freddie Cannon
song.."Opportunity, knocks just once."
  Freddie should have had SPAM!
  Hope you do and that all your
NEWS is good!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Star Search

  Well the audition is over. Now I, and
several others, await word from the
Director and Casting Department to see
if we'll get the parts we tried out for
in the movie "Trust Me."
  I had to act like a father.
  Heck, I've been rehearsing that role
for 40 years!
  If everything goes according to plan
shooting will begin next week at spots
in Luzerne County.
  The audition, actually a 'reading, was
  Director Chris Fetchko, who essentially
lived the story that's being told,
gathered five of us round a table and
had us read our lines from his script.
  That might have been enough for some
folks. But not for Chris.
  While sticking with the theme of his
script he rolled video while we were
encouraged to ad lib the whole scene!
  I learned to ad lib way back in my
radio days when you had to say
something, ready or not, to make sure
you didn't end up with what we use to
call 'dead air.'
   When you do it a lot you'd be
surprised what you can come up with.
   I remember reading a score that
came through on a long list provided
by the Associated Press one time.
   You go though them so quickly you
hardly realize what you're reading.
   One score read like this.......
   (School A  135
   (PA. School for the Dead  125)
   I read the score the way it was
written then said....."Gee, I'm
surprised they scored at all."
  Somebody at AP had misspelled
PA School for the Deaf!
   I also remember a story during my
DJ days in which some African leader
boasted of having come up with what he
called 'The ultimate Weapon.'
   My ab lib suggested that it was
an ICBM, or Intercontinental
Ballistic Spear!"
   You could do that as a DJ but not
as a newscaster.
   Guess that's why I'm enjoying this
blog so much and appreciated the
chance to 'create my own character'
with some of those movie lines.
   I'll let you know if it works
out or if my interpretation ends
up with..."The..Thee,The.. thee, That's
All Folks!"
   Hope all you NEWS is good!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

   It's finally come! My big chance!
 Today I'll be auditioning
for a speaking part in a movie to
be shot right here in Northeastern
 "Trust Me" is a film by Chris
Fetchko, a Hazleton native, that
follows a character named Charlie
who manages a struggling rock
band while trying to balance
ambition and love.
  I've had a chance to look over
some of the script and it looks
like Chris has a good thing
going here.
  That's probably because he
actually lived part of the story.
  I had originally signed on as
an 'extra' but got a call last
week to see if I was interested
in actually taking a small
  Heck...this movie is about
rock and music. I use to be a
DJ and still know two or three
tunes on the harmonica! That
should make me a natural!
  Actually I think there's a
scene where they need an
'older guy.'
  I can probably act 'older.'
  There's only a few lines
involved but, ironically, I've
actually used them a few times
in my own life. In fact my son
thought I was talking to him
when I rattled them off the
other evening.
  Hopefully I'll get the part
and pick up on that movie
career I lost when Henry
Winkler took the role I
originally had in another
area movie shoot.
  You can learn more about
"Trust Me' by checking it's
Facebook Page.
  Meanwhile please wish me
luck, or 'break a leg', whichever
is 'in' these days.
  I've got to go now.
  I keep yelling 'Action' to make
sure I'm ready when I hear it
for real!
  Hope all your NEWS, and mine,
is good! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor!

  Commercials have always paid the
bills in radio and television so
you expect to hear or see them
  It's the same in newspapers.
  But these days commercials are
  We went for a ride in the Poconos
yesterday. Apparently no one there
has been told about the 'tough
economic times.'
  Commercial signs and billboards
crowd both sides of Route 940
from the Regional Police Station to
the intersection of old Route 611.
  One ad after another for businesses
and products.
  Some of them are very clever and
colorful. It's a shame you have to
occasionally glance back to the
highway to see where you're going!  
  And have you been to the movies
  There was a feature I wanted to
see two weeks ago. I checked the
schedule on line and realized I'd
have to head out right away to be
there in time for the 1:15PM
showing. Of course my timing
always allows 5 extra minutes
to get my popcorn!
  I thought I had it timed
  But then I realized I had
finished my popcorn and was still
waiting for the feature to begin.
  Now don't get me wrong.
  There was something on the screen
from the moment I walked in till
the movie I came to see actually
started at about 1:40 or so.
   But it wasn't all 'Coming
   I guess my 'Senior admission
ticket' isn't bringing in
enough money.
   The theaters now show as many
commercials as most two hour
television programs. Of course
in the theater they're sort of
all piled together in the half
hour or so before the movie
   There are ads for new cars,
the latest in cell phone
technology, and usually
several for either Coke or
Pepsi depending on which salesman
got to the theater first.
  Of course they throw in some
Public Service stuff too.
  And reminders not to talk
or text during the movie. I
usually have a seat close to
someone who feels the 'no talking
reminder' has to be read out loud.
  I'm sure the extra income helps
to keep admission prices down
although it doesn't seem to have
had any impact on the price of
my popcorn.
  Anyhow whether it's movies,
along highways,or on radio, TV,
or in newspapers I guess we've
all got to deal with the fact
that....the world is not
only a's a
 Hope all your NEWS is good!