Friday, August 31, 2012

Convention Coverage !

   I've seen a lot of comments on Facebook this
week about the Republican National Convention.
   As you might expect, most of them are coming
from Republicans who seem to believe, after
every speech, that they've just heard the most
impressive oratory since Lincoln's Gettysburg
   There is a lot of coverage! Even on what some
of the same viewers usually call "the Liberal
   But I'm not here to take sides.
   The rhetoric from a Democratic convention
would be just as boring to me!
   I mean, let's face it, what do you expect to hear!
   The party looking to get in will tell you what a
terrible job those in power have done.
   The party that's in power will tell you why those
trying to get in aren't good enough to do the job!
   Sorry! I just can't watch!
   And the sad part is....there are so many other
conventions that aren't getting coverage that might
be so much more interesting!
   Take  Las Vegas for instance.
   There was a great convention there this month!
    But how much coverage did you see of the
annual Star Trek Convention?!
    Four "Captains" were there!
    I might have watched some of that!
    Next month the National Association of
Criminal Defense Attorneys will be meeting
there. There should be some great speeches
at that one!
    The National Pecan Sheller's Association
will hold its convention in Vegas on Sept 11th.
    And while you may say "nuts" to that one,
the "Motel 6" convention opens on the 29th.
(And they'll leave the light on for you!)
    We don't know how long the annual "Office
Convention" in Scranton will survive now
that NBC has announced plans to shut down
Dunder Mifflin after the current series.
    But what's been called one of the "most
unusual conventions" is held annually right
in the Wilkes-Barre area!
    I wonder how much time the networks
will give to the "Inking The Valley Tattoo
and Sideshow Convention" scheduled for
the Woodlands in November?
    A good side show attractions (as the
Political conventions demonstrate) can
always grab some body's attention!
    Hope you're not a delegate ....and that
all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Golden Oldie From Double Dee's Dusty Dungeon!

   Back in my DJ days I played "oldies" from
"Double Dee's Dusty Dungeon of Marvelous
   I don't usually repeat
my Blogs. But
the one written for this date, August 30th.,
deserves to be seen again by regular readers
and read for the first time by new "fans."
  And the "Dusty Dungeon" is a perfect
place for..........
  "It's Alive....It's Alive!!!!!"

  Given the title above....who can guess what
'Special Day' this is?
      All us 'old timers' know!
      August 30th is "Frankenstein Day!"
      What!?  Some of you didn't know!?
      The day was named in horror.....make that
honor....of Mary Wollenstone Shelley who was
born on August 30th., 1797!
      Mary wrote the story of "Frankenstein"
in 1818.
      If you do the math that would make her
21 years old! She actually started writing
the story when she was 18!
      I wonder if she ever talked about it on
a date? I wonder if she ever had a date? I
wonder if she liked really tall strong guys
who didn't talk very much?
      "Frankenstein" is the story about a
scientist who tries to create life and ends up
producing a monster who can live forever.
  Given the number of movies her monster
has spawned over the years I'd say her
monster is still 'alive and well!'
     By the way it was the scientist who
was named Frankenstein. The monster
never did have a name other than....
"The Frankenstein Monster."
    You'd think she could have named the
     I have to admit I have no idea how we're
suppose to 'celebrate' or 'observe'
Frankenstein Day. Maybe you can come up
with some ideas.
    For those who feel it's just too late
to celebrate....take heart...but
not literally as Doctor Frankenstein did!
    There's still "Frankenstein Friday!
    That's the last Friday in October.
    Apparently somebody connected with
Frankenberry Cereal came up with that
    There's also "National Frankenstein Day"
which is listed as being observed on
October 29th.
     Think about it!  Washington and Lincoln
have to share 'President's Day' while Mary's
Monster gets three days all his own!
      Well, however you celebrate, I hope
you have a Happy Frankenstein Day, that
you're full of energy, and that all your
NEWS is good!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back To The Future!

  I've been raving a lot about the improvements
I've seen in downtown Pittston recently.
  It's still a work in progress as a lot of store
fronts are getting a facelift to compliment
those shops that have already improved the
   But the latest improvement actually
capitolizes on the rich history of the city and
the area.
   The entire side of a Main Street Dental
office has been turned into a huge mural
celebrating the region's heritage.
   I'm including some photos from my
"carry along camera."
   But, basically, the art work depicts a
coal miner, breaker boys, a garment shop
filled with women working the sewing
machines, and a railroad steam locomotive!
    It's an impressive tribute to those who
worked so hard to build our area!
    I think some of those workers would
be impressed with what they see in the
city today.
    I am!
    Hope you get a chance to see the art
work in person and that all your NEWS is

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gone Green...or Green Gone?

  Things are changing around my neighborhood.
  I live less than a half mile away from a big
  There was a time when you got near a hospital
you would see signs that read "Quiet, Hospital
    But over the past few weeks the area around
this hospital has sounded something like the
Pocono International Raceway when all the
NASCAR drivers are there! The noise isn't
coming from race cars. It's coming from
heavy equipment!
    And that equipment is ripping out the
forest that had separated our development
from the hospital. Some of these guys were
even working on Saturday and Sunday!
    Must be an emergency! Right?
    It's not for some new life saving laboratory
or cancer treatment center.
    It's too expand the hospital's parking
lots! Maybe there's too many set
aside for "Employees of the Week?"
   A lot of trees are giving up their lives for
blacktop and slanted white lines!
    It's a good hospital so I suppose it's got
to provide for a lot of patients as well as
    It's just a little sad to see the carnage!
    Hope you won't be needing a parking
space there and that all your NEWS is good!



Monday, August 27, 2012

Forget Waldo....Where Are The Bells?

   My brother -in-law and his wife do a lot
of traveling.
   They're thinking of getting one of those
maps of the United States and filling in
all of those they've had occasion to visit.
    But we've got a question that could
serve as a challenge to those of you who
like to head out to as many parts of this
great country as possible.
    It came to us while we were getting a
tour of the State Capital Building in Utah
during our recent western trip.
    Tucked away in a corner of the
building was a full sized replica of the
Liberty Bell.....crack and all!
    Turns out Pennsylvania gave one of
these "duplicate Liberty Bells" to every
other state in the union!
     I didn't know "they" did that!
     Did you?
     I don't know when they were handed,
probably "hauled", out. But I suppose
it's a safe bet that state taxpayer's foot
the bill!
     Any how, there was our gift....on
prominent display in the Capital
Building in Salt Lake City!
    But where are the other 48?
    We have the original so, with
Utah's accounted for, there are 48
others that were donated to the other
    Some may be on display. Some may
be in storage. Who knows...maybe
some states sent theirs out to get the
crack repaired!
    Your job, should you choose to accept
it, is to find them!
     It should be a fun search!
     Hope you are successful and that all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Let's Get Together..Yea, Yea, Yea!

  When I was just a kid my Mom and Dad
took me to the annual Singley Family
Reunion. Perhaps I should say they
"dragged" me there!
   Originally, it was held inside a small
church in the community of Zion Grove
in Schuylkill County.
   Somewhere along the line the church
itself was closed to us. But the family
continued to rent the church pavilion
out back for the meeting.
    Looking at it from the eyes of a kid
those meetings would have been
mentioned in the dictionary to describe
the word "Boring!"
    A lot of the adults probably could not
have cared less.'s the problem.
    Those "kids" are the ones who would
have to keep the reunion going as they
grew to be adults!
     I almost always attended as a sort of
tribute to my Mother.
    Many others drifted away as their
parents and grand parents passed on.
    But over the last few years we've not
only looked forward to the annual get
together. My grand kids are anxious to
go too!
   The trick? Well, while we still hold a
short business session at the church
pavilion......just to maintain tradition....
the bulk of activities have been moved
to the nearby Singley Family Farm!
    Kids like farms!!!!!
    And some of the "cousins", who
probably remember those "boring
meetings", now make sure there's some
interesting activities for the kids.
    This year's highlight was a sling
shot type device with which the kids
could hurl water balloons!
      Then there's "The Gator." A 4-
wheel drive vehicle on which we
drive exciting tours around the corn
fields and through the woods.
     The food, which used to be made
of primarily of "Wimpies" and
such has been replaced by sausage
and fresh picked corn roasted on an
open fire pit!
      There was a time when I wondered
if this historic family could really
reach it's 100th reunion. (We did it
last year).
      Now with respect for history and
tradition....but with concern for the
next generation as looks as
if we (the family) will be getting
together for many years to come!
      Hope your family takes the
time to get together and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Take Me Out With The Crowd!

  My wife and I try to stop by the Little League
World Series each year. Not for the final big
game. We just try to catch whichever two teams
are playing on the day we get there.
  This year proved to be a little different!
  First, we got probably the best parking spot in
the lot. Right off the road that leads up to the
  And we undoubtedly could have had the very
best seats in the stadium too!
  Only one problem!
  There was no game!
  We managed to pick the day set aside to make
up rain outs. But there were no rain outs so it
simply became an "off day" for the remaining
   Since there was no game the concession
stands were as empty as the stadium so our
plan to picnic at the ballpark was just not to
   But all was not lost!
   Rather than write off the day we decided to
visit the Hiawatha, a River Boat that offers
cruises on a beautiful stretch of the Susquehanna.
   The Concession stand there was open so we
didn't have to go hungry.
   And within minutes some of the Little League
World Series came sailing our way!
   As the boat we planned to ride pulled into
port we realized that the entire team from
Japan, one of the favorites in this year's
series, was on board!
    We got to see them all and traded waves and
smiles as they walked up the gang plank  to
the shore!
     We never would have seen all of them quite
this up close and personal in the stadium!
      And, as a sort of bonus, the Goodyear
Blimp made a pass overhead as we wished
them all well!
       Hope the spirit of Little League stays with
all the players and that all your NEWS is

Friday, August 24, 2012

What It Was....Was....Football!

     My family has become "The Wide World of
      One grandson is a BMX bicycle racer.
      One grand daughter plays soccer.
      Another grand daughter is a gymnast.
      And my other grandson, already a Black Belt
in Karate, has now joined his High School
football team!
      I am considering the possibility of
publishing my own "Spectator Schedule" so
friends will know which sport I'm watching on
which date.
      I myself have always favored baseball over
      That may be because I've played so much
baseball, mainly Softball, over my life.
      My only real "personal" experience with
football came in 9th grand when, for one
season, I was a "Manager" for my High School
     High School football "Managers" are not
some sort of team executives.
     They are the people who haul the equipment
to and from the field, get all the laundry, and
clean the locker room after the games.
     They are also the guys who help carry the
injured players off the field!
      Football you see, unlike baseball, is a
"contact sport."
      I was reminded of that again as I attended
my grandson's "Meet the Player's Night"
last evening.
      There, among the impressive red uniforms,
were two players with obvious injuries. One
was on crutches. The other had a cast on his
      But these guys haven't played any games
      As if that weren't enough to worry a parent
or grand of the Cheerleaders
was on crutches!
     Wow! This football must be more dangerous
than I thought!
     Guess that's why I still prefer baseball.......
although there was that time the guy slid into
me with metal spikes!
      Oh well...even tennis players get sore
      Hope you're a good sport (no matter which
one) and that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Last Day of Summer!

  Forget the calender or the Autumnal Equinox!
  Summer ended yesterday, Wednesday, August
  At least it did for two of my grand kids!
  They are enrolled in a "Charter School" which
has now resumed classes for the next year!
   I would not have done well there!
   I come from a time when summer vacation
ended after Labor Day! Families still had a
chance for one final week together and
business places could depend on the teens
who were still available for work until after
the holiday.
    As soon as we went back I started the
countdown to Thanksgiving and Christmas!
    I liked Halloween. But it wasn't a school
vacation, I liked school vacations! The longer,
the better!
    It's been a very long time since I had to go
back to school. But I think I know how the
kids, at least many of the kids, feel.
    So, I spent part of my Tuesday taking my
grand kids to a couple of playgrounds then,
afterwards, for some ice cream
    I reminded them that the playgrounds
will still be around and that our Ice Cream
shop is open all year!
    They called me after classes to tell me they
had a good day and met some new friends!
     I hope they have a good year.
     The playground is going to seem very
empty without least until the
     Hope you've got your backpacks ready,
your pencils sharpened, and that all your
NEWS is good!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Two "Ghost Towns!"

  This is the story of two "Ghost Towns."
  One is, or was, right in our area.
  I can't find the other! Sort of!
  The first was a community called
Edgerton, in Lackawanna County
  It would have been part of Archbald
had it survived. But it didn't.
  A strike, and an impossible dream to
tunnel through the mountain did the place
in around 1905,
  I found out about Edgerton from my
friend Dale Keklock who has helped
write a book about the place.
  He recently took me on a 4-wheel
drive through some heavy woods to
show off the foundations of several
buildings that once served the small coal
mining community.
  I did a story on the place for ECTV.
  I never realized that, long before
Laurel Run or Centralia, we had a area
town that just sort of vanished!
  The other "Ghost Town" is still there,
and still alive, but I just can't find it!
   It's the town of Deadwood in
   Deadwood is famous as the town where
Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed as
he held the now infamous poker hand of
"Aces and 8's!"
   I visited Deadwood on my recent trip
out west. But I can't find any of my video
of the place!
   I did take a few still pictures. But all of
my video, which included the spot where
Wild Bill was gunned down, the town's
gambling casinos, and the train
layout we found there has simply
disappeared! There's got to be "ghosts"
at work here!!!!
   It seems kind of funny that I found the
ghost town that isn't there any more....but
lost the one that's still thriving! 
   Hope you know where your town is,
whether "ghost or not", and that all your
NEWS is good!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here Come The Judge!

  I've got to be one of the only people around
who dosen't work in the court system, or with
the police and still hangs out with a Judge!
  In my case it's Tom Munley, President Judge
of Lackawanna County.
  Every Monday we meet in Scranton to do a
TV program we call ECTV Live.
  It's a Public Affairs program that promotes
upcoming evens or attractions that are offered
free of charge to people throughout the area.
  There are a lot more of those than you might
  A long time lawyer before his election to the
bench, Judge Munley is also a TV veteran!
  Back in his attorney days he answered
viewers questions as the originator of
"The Law and You" on WYOU TV.
  I often helped with that show from time to
time. I baby-sat the fixed position camera
we had set up for the feature in the Scranton
Bureau and, one Thanksgiving when there
was no one to take viewers phone calls, I
wrote a special script for the program.
  The Judge still refuses, however, to let
me write any opinions from his
Courtroom!  Maybe it's my spelling!?
   He's a really neat guy who is truly interested
in our guests.
   He tries, whenever possible, to personally
check out some of the events we talk about.
   Next week, for instance, he's hoping to
do some bicycle riding at the "Wally Lake
Fest" at Lake Wallenpaupack!
   I couldn't talk him into the Para-Sailing
events there or the Tomato fight in Pittston
last week.
   It's great to "work" with this guy! He
served his country in Viet Nam, served
his clients as an attorney, serves the people
as a Judge, and serves the public as the
host of our "quality of life" program!
   Guess I'd have to say "I rest my case!"
   Hope you get to catch ECTV Live, and
that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Just Say "NO!" (Oh Yea!)

   I found myself just saying "No!" a couple of
times yesterday. But it never got any easier!
   We  had driven to a complex not far from
Tamaqua after a wonderful meal.
   Our first priority....a friendly game of
miniature golf.
   My 9-year-old grandson teamed up with my
buddy and me on one of two challenging
courses while my grand daughter and her
dad tackled the other.
   I should have gone with them!
   Every time I turned around my friend was
hitting the ball through or around some
obstacle and getting it either in or right
next to the hole!
   I seem to remember shouting (or at
least thinking "No!") at least 4 times as he
sunk his ball on the first shot! I didn't stand
a chance!
   I did beat my grandson although he may be
under the impression it's the high score who
   My second "just say "No" was a lot harder.
  You see this complex is part of a very
popular Dairy Bar.
   Ice cream was visible ever where!
  I've been trying to cut back a bit so standing
at the window to order for others was a bit
of a challenge!
  I'm proud! I just said "No" (thank you that is)
and looked the other way as those cones and
sundaes sat around yelling out my name!
  My grand daughter did get me to take one
sip of her milkshake which seemed to be all
the "fix" I needed to get me through!
  Hope your putts are straight, your cones have
sprinkles, and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Take Me Out To The............ Drive In!

  Somebody brought up the subject of Drive In
Movies the other day and I remarked that we
hadn't made it to one yet this year.
  Maybe that's why we decided to go last night!
  We put the top down in the Miata and hit the
   We're lucky enough to have several Drive Ins
still operating in our area and they still have a
lot to offer!
   You can get a Double feature for the same
price you'd pay to see just one movie in any
of the area multiplex theaters.
   I saw several people who brought their dog
to the show!
   That seemed curious since neither Lassie
nor 101 Dalmatians was on the Marque!
   The concession stands at the Drive Ins seem
to offer a better selection and, usually, at lower
prices than their indoor counterparts.
   I'm always surprised to find long lines in the
snack bar given the fact that some people, like
the guy parked in front of me, brought a huge
cooler with him to the show!  Maybe he was
planning to stop for groceries on the way
   We found ourselves parked among a lot of
SUV's and Mini vans.....most facing away
from the screen! Seems the trend these days
is to open the rear hatch and sit either in or
just outside your vehicle.
   The speakers, of course, are long gone.
   They're been replaced by low power FM
Broadcast signals you can pick up on your
car radio.
    Of course you've got to tune your radio to
the proper frequency and, in some cases,
that requires a check of the owner's manual
to remember how that's suppose to be done.
    I learned a little about Jeeps during
last night's feature film. Not from the movie.
But, rather, from the guy parked next to me.
   It seems when you open the rear hatch of
a Jeep wagon, 7 separate lights go on.
   Ether there's no way to turn them off or
the movie had the driver so scared and he felt
the need for night lights till the final credits
 were running.
    I hate to admit it but I would have rather
put up with the light from one cell phone
   I left before I could tell if the guy had
enough battery power remaining to start his
   And..... I did enjoy the show!
   Hope you get to the Drive In before summer
is gone and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

3 FLAGS! (Over Pittston)

   If you're ever looking for an American
or an Italian Flag you ought to take a drive
into Pittston. There's plenty of both of them
to be found.
   But this week there's a third banner being
flown over the city!
   It's a "Tomato Flag!"
   And it's flying to celebrate the 29th annual
Pittston Tomato Festival!
   Locals will tell you the acidic mining soil
in and around Pittston is perfect for growing
tomatoes!  In my yard it's good for weeds!
  According to Wikipedia,  the tomato
originated in South America and showed up
in what became the U.S. following Spanish
colonization here.
  But there must have been an Italian in there
someplace.  And he must have got lost and
found himself in Pittston!
  Now, some 50,000 people show up during
the 4 day festival to enjoy ethnic foods, ride
the amusements, listen to the music of live
bands and, of course, check out all the tomatoes!
  There's a tomato judging contest (the fruit).
   Contestants go after the coveted awards for
the  Largest, Smallest, Ugliest, and Most
Perfect Tomato!
   There's also a contest to pick "The Little
Miss" and "Mister" Tomato (kids)!
   But wait....there's more!
   Local restaurants are now competing in
"Sauce Wars!"  They're looking for the award
for the "Best Marinara Sauce!"
   Tomatoes, of course, grow at their own
pace. Many are "over ripe" by the time
the festival comes around.
   But they're welcome too! For the annual
"Tomato Fights!"
   It's an opportunity for friends and
neighbors to put on a pair of goggles and
clobber one another with rotten tomatoes!
   If only we could have candidates
schedule tomato fights instead of debates!
   Think of the possibilities!
   I wonder if Heinz is watching Pittston?
   Hope you've got a cute tomato by your
side (one way or the other) and that all
your NEWS is good!