Friday, May 31, 2013

What's That You Say?

  My grandson sat on our rocker.
  I was on the couch.
  My wife was in the kitchen.
  My grandson and my wife were
separated by approximately 20 feet.
   My wife directed a question to my
grandson. Neither he, nor I, heard
what she asked.
   I bring this to your attention
because today, May 31st., is "Save
your Hearing Day."
   Now, to be fair, there are several
reasons beyond hearing loss that
might account for our "failure to
   First, the TV was on and some sort
of "rock band" was playing. That
might be reason enough.
   Second, the air conditioner was on
high as we attempted to counter the
90 degree outside temperature.
   Now in my case hearing loss does
figure least a bit.
    Many moons ago I was a DJ. It
was back in the days when the "oldies"
were new. And they were otne loud.
And I wore a headset which directed
all those notes into my ears.
   It definately took a toll over time
and I don't hear as well as I used to.
   Add to that the fact that my wife
speaks softly and you're got a
situation where the word most often
used in my house is..."What?"
   While all of those factors seem to
figure into the question lost between
my wife's mouth and our ears, it may
well have been the question itself that
was least to my grandson
who was never a DJ.
    My wife asked if he had started
his homework!
    What kid has ever really listened
for that question?
    Hope you "hear" what I'm saying,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Back In The Saddle Again!

    I was in a Amtrak station in Maryland this
past March when I got the email message
asking if I'd like to be part of a television
special honoring WYOU and WBRE as they
celebrated their Diamond Anniversaries!
    I think it took all of about 3 seconds to
send my "Yes!" answer!
    I spent the bulk of my 50 plus years in
broadcasting on WYOU TV. starting out
there when it was still WDAU.
    And I wore two hats during the last
few years before my retirement, reporting
for both WYOU and WBRE.
    Yesterday I went back into the studios
to record my parts for the special. Wow,
how things have changed!
     All of my on camera parts were
photographed with a camera that looked
like something not much bigger than a
tourist would carry around on vacation!
      When I started at Ch22 we were still
shooting most of our news stories on
film which had to be developed and
edited before going on the air. That meant
running the film through a chemical
processor and then editing, that is
physically cutting the film, for the
parts to be used on the air.
     Sometimes the film broke in the
processor. The section that had already
been developed was fine. The section
stuck in the middle was over developed
while the film at the beginning of the
reel usually turned out under developed
or too light.
     Now they just take a chip out of the
camera and put it in their computers to
be edited.
     The video today is also all "High
Definition."  Given all my wrinkles
I had hoped they could switch back to
Low Definition for my scenes!
     Then again we're taking about two
stations on the air for 60 years. Maybe
my "aging features" will enhance all
that history!
      My thanks to Becky Stitzer who
has been breaking her back to put this
special together and Chris O'Neal who
had the impossible task of trying to make
me look good! David Copperfield would
be proud of the magic produced by this
     The special is scheduled to air on
WYOU on June 7th at 7:30PM.
      Hope you'll tune in....and that all
your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Rain and I

     Wouldn't you just know it!
     I have a "To Do List" that's about an
arm long and Mother Nature sends a day
long rainstorm!
     Rainy days seem to have more than
24 hours. At least they just seem to drag
on. Why is that?
      I showed up early for my wife's
doctor's appointment and decided to just
wait in the car. The constant sound of
rain on the roof made my eye lids heavy.
     A nap seemed in order. But I find it
difficult to doze off in full view of the
constant parade of patients coming to or
going from their appointments, I only
wondered why so many came and went
while I was still waiting for my wife.
      The rain slowed a bit as we stopped
by our local pharmacy. But the skies
opened up again right after our grocery
shopping and just in time to catch me
trying to load the car. It had such "great
      It was pouring hard again as I picked
up our other vehicle at the garage where
we had some brake work done.
      It had slowed by the time I got back
and started to unload some of our
groceries. Unfortunately the rear door,
my access to those groceries, was
positioned right under a drain spout!
      Another lull in the sprinkles....till
I left to pick up my grandson. Then, yep,
more heavy stuff!
     Oh well, I guess I'll get to dry out
as we hit the 90's this week...unless, of
course, I get caught in one of the
numerous thunderstorms that are
expected to accompany the heat wave!
     Hope you're staying dry and that
all your NEWS is good!

 90 degrees by Thursday!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holiday Traditions

    My wife and I had no particular plans for Memorial
    Then my son called to suggest we get together at our
camper where HE would tend the grill! As in the
"Godfather" he had made an offer we couldn't refuse!
    We soon found ourselves part of and surrounded by
a hundred holiday traditions.
    Since the weather was great I put the top down in
my Miata and started our traditional back road ride
to the lake.
    We stopped at the traditional EMS roadblock where
volunteers stand out in the middle of the busiest
highway intersection they can find and hold out boots
or helmets or whatever they have in an attempt to get
every driver to toss in money.
    I do not endorse these kinds of drives, especially
when youngsters are involved. But in the spirit of the
holiday (and since the light was red) I tossed in a
    I poured a traditional tank full of gasoline into the
lawn mower and cut our grass as well as our
neighbors! ( I'm not sure how that traditional got
started but it's gone on for awhile!)
    The family, all available that is, had a traditional
gathering which includes various chores around the
camper. Then, if you're lucky, you get a chance for
a traditional "sit down."
     True to his word my son brought and cooked a
grill full of traditional hot dogs and hamburgers.
His girl provided some delicious, but perhaps, non
traditional desert, and my daughter and son-in-law
came with enough traditional extras to supply a
platoon of hungry soldiers. Since there were no
soldiers everyone else was responsible for some
traditional over eating! My daughter also made
sure there was one container of traditional
Pringles since I don't go for those fancy flavors!
     And lest I forget, while campers and visitors
enjoyed their traditional cook outs, fishing, and
fun.......most everyone enjoyed their day beneath
a display of the Stars and Stripes which, as per
tradition, could be seen flying from most every
     Hope you "remembered" while you enjoyed
your traditions, and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Where There's Smoke.....There's RIBS!!!!!

  We had traveled along Route 590 to Lake
Wallenpaupack many times over the years.
But one particular trip made a big difference
in our lives!
   Hamlin was a community we drove through
on the way to the lake. But one Saturday a
long traffic backup halted us a good distance
from the red light up ahead.
    That's when the aroma from something
tasty cooking on a charcoal fire filtered through
our open windows.
    A glance to our right reveled an "L" shaped,
tarp covered structure with a line of people
holding trays filled with food.
   We had found Klunda's Bar B Q!
   That aroma was practically hypnotic. It pulled
us in!
    We found a lot of young men and women
laboring over a long brick charcoal pit the top
of which was covered with chicken and ribs!
The more they cooked, the more they were
moved forward on the grates, making room
for more chicken and ribs and allowing the
workers to continually turn the fixings to make
sure they were cooked all the way through.
    And they were other goodies available too!
    French fries and Corn, trucked from the south
so they'd be as fresh as if they were picked from
our own fields in peak season.
    We loved our meal and quickly started telling
friends about "our discovery." Of course, nearly
everyone else we spoke to already knew about
the place and had been going there for years!
     It's probably the best traffic jam I've ever
been in. We've been going back over and over
during the season which begins around Mother's
Day and ends about Columbus Day!
     We stopped again yesterday with family and
friends to celebrate a couple birthdays and
Memorial Day as well.
     We all ate as much as possible. After all,
we've got a couple years worth of missing this
place to make up for.
     And we plan to keep trying!
     Hope you've got a "special place" or two
to feast and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Head Of The Line!

   Let's face it. We all want to be at the head
of the line.
   You know. First at the water fountain in
school. First into the checkout line at the
supermarket. And first in line for those
concert or movie tickets.
    But sometimes you've got to take turns
    And we're suppose to know it's not nice
to "cut" the line.
    With that said I've been going crazy
watching drivers who get a warning that
the Right Lane is closed ahead, but insist
in staying in that lane till the very spot where
it ends. Then they inch their way into the
left lane ahead of all the other drivers who
got their two miles back when the spotted
the warning signs!
   We hit a massive traffic tie up returning
from New York State last week. They were
fixing a bridge and had to close the right
lane while the work was being done. Sure
enough there were "Right Lane Close
Ahead" two miles before the work zone.
But, as usual, half the drivers just stayed
in the right lane until it no longer existed
and that's what caused all the backup.
  I'm told that some states have a signal
system which alternates between each
lane at the point of mandatory merger,
   We need something like that around
these parts!
    Hope you're in the "right" lane so you're
not "left" out and that all your NEWS is

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tap, Tap, Tap!

  Sure. It's much colder than it should be
for May. But there's still plenty of reasons
to celebrate!
  May 25th is National Tap Dance Day!
  It's a day created in honor of the birthday
of legendary tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
on May 25, 1878. Heck they even wrote a song
about the guy!
  And it is a real "National Day!
  It's the result of US Joint Resolution declaring
May 25th National Tap Dance Day. President
George Bush signed it into law as a national day
on November 7, 1989.
   Now I'm not know to be much of a dancer.
Although the Hazleton Standard Speaker once
referred to me as a "supple twister" in an article
about a record hop I MC'ed back in the 60's.
   I had to look it up.
   But I do know one tap dance move and I'll
never forget it. It was taught to me by a
"Hoofer." That's a term used to describe a tap
dancer back in Vaudeville days.
    One of those Hoofers ended his stage career
opening and shutting the curtain at the start
and end of each show at the old Capitol Theater
in Hazleton.
    He showed me the step one day and I felt
very special knowing it came from a guy who
who felt he should pass one little thing along
to a kid too young to remember the real hay days
of the Vaudeville circuit.
    Of course I've got a brother-in-law who could
probably show you a lot more. He was always big
on baseball. But somewhere along the line his
parents signed him up for tap dancing lessons.
    And who knows....maybe that fancy footwork
helped him steal bases?
     So forget the cold. Tap your way through the
day whether you know how or not!
      Hope you remember Mr. "Bojangles" and
that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Right Present!

  My wife is celebrating her birthday today!
  I started thinking about a gift for her about
two weeks ago. But what to buy?
  If I picked something myself there would
be a very good chance I'd get something
she didn't want or need.
   Even if I lucked out I would undoubtedly
pick the wrong size or color.
   So I took the same route I would take
with the grand kids. I simply asked
"What would you like for your birthday?"
   My wife usually answers a question like
that with a list of things she doesn't want.
Well, I guess that does help by ruling things
   But then she'll proceed to name a thing or
two that's not on what I'd call your "typical
gift list."
   At Walmart  the other day she hinted that
she would like to get some Mulch for our
yard. That sounded fair to me.
   What could be simpler than  asking the
clerk in the Garden Center for a bag of
    Except, it seems, there are about a
bazillion kinds of the stuff!
    There's wood, pine, glass, rock, cypress,
and black mulch.  And they all come in big
bags that aren't easy to carry.
     I think I heard my wife say something
about the Black Mulch. Hopefully it wasn't
"That's the kind I don't want" because I
picked up a few bags of the stuff which I
will present to her today!
      Still not sure if I have to wrap the
bags with a bow?
      Hope you're down to earth like she is
and that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's "Lucky Penny Day!"

   Pay extra attention as you make the rounds today.
   May 23rd is "Lucky Penny Day!"
   The researchers at were
unable to trace the originators of this "holiday."
    If fact many people will undoubtedly question the
value of a special day set aside to pay tribute to the
common everyday penny.
    After all there's very little you can buy for a single
cent these days.
    Most folks, when receiving a penny in change at
their local market probably just offer it back
to the every present "penny pile."
    That depository is suppose to be put into use to
help other customers who come up a penny short.
     I often wonder if, at the end of the day, it really
becomes a dollar tip for the clerk on duty?
     Some of course are probably dropped into one
of those containers to "Save the Animals" or some
similar charity.
      The old saying is "Find a penny, pick it up, and
all the day you'll have good luck." I never found that
to be especially true. But, in all fairness, I just now
learned, through my research for this blog, that you're
only suppose to pick up the pennies that are "Heads
up!" Guess "Tails" doesn't qualify!
     But anyway you look at them Pennies are still a
major commodity in my house! And the grand kids
grab for them whichever side is facing up!
     I suppose it has something to do with the
Gumball machine we keep on our kitchen table
that's filled with M&Ms! You've got to put in a
penny to get a couple out.......and we're doing a big
business! Of course we supply the pennies!
     Hope you're still getting your two cents worth
in and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And the winners are.........

  I had to decide which to do first yesterday.
Take my wife for her blood test or stop in to
cast our ballots.
  I decided to get the hard part out of the way
first. So we went to vote.
  It's not that the electronic voting machines
are all that hard to use. I'm pretty much used
to them now.
  The problem is the list of candidates!
  For the past couple of weeks we've been
bothered by political telephone calls, radio
and television advertising, signs planted in
every available space along the highways,
billboards and, of course, those flyer's that
we found in our mailbox every other day.
   As if we hadn't seen enough there were
"poll workers" waiting to greet us as we
showed up at our firehouse. Each handed
us a little paper with names and/or photos of
the candidate or candidates they wanted us
to support.
    So why is it, with all that information, I
only recognized about a half dozen of the
names that showed up on my electronic
   Of course a few of the really "big names"
that have been all over radio and TV these
past few weeks are from other communities
and don't even appear on my ballot! Guess
they wasted their advertising dollars in my
   Then, as I waited to see the results, I
realized  my home township was
barely seen on the "crawl" at the bottom
of the screen!
    Since this was a Primary election most
of the people seeking office have to run and
win again in the General election to actually
get the position they're seeking.
    Maybe if I hang on to those little handouts
I'll know who they are next time around!
    Meantime I can write notes and grocery
lists on the back of the cards! This proves,
again, that elections are important!
     Hope your candidate got nominated and
that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Creek!

 The Creek!
  It almost sounds like the title of a
scary novel or movie. And I suppose
it could be!
  The stream that cuts through the
mountain near our development is
a quiet, beautiful place when its banks
are lined with snow and ice covers
spots where the water ponds.
   But when spring arrives...the
"creatures" come out!
   May flies are usually the first to
arrive. They're not scary, just a
nuisance when I try to take my
morning walks in that area.
   As temperatures get a little
warmer you're likely to see other
critters in the vicinity of the creek.
   There's a Ground Hog now and
then. Again, not scary, unless you're
hoping for a weather prediction!
That, as we all know, can be a horror!
   But yesterday's hot temperatures
brought out the real "monsters!"
    First a skunk that didn't make it
across the road! He is gone but,
believe me, not forgotten!
    Then the biggest fright of all!
    The "Swimmers!"
    When ever the temperatures
hit the mid 70s and the sun is out
bright and strong you'll find cars
parked on any available spot near
near the only access trail to the
creek where there are no "No
Trespassing" signs!
     Some come just to sit in the
cool running water. Many come to
party. By evening there's usually a
campfire and a couple of brews.
     If you miss the sights you can
view the litter the next morning.
     Makes me kind of long for those
quiet winter scenes.
      Hope the skunk odor soon
disappears and that all your NEWS
is good!


Monday, May 20, 2013

MY U.F.Os..........IDENTIFIED!

   It's been a few years since the night I spotted
those strange lights in the sky. They were
unidentified and they were most definitely
flying! That made them UFOs!
   It seemed an entire flight rather than just one
large object.
   I couldn't tell just how high they were or how
far from my vantage point. But they did seem to
be moving. Either higher or further away.
   Their speed suggested they were hovering
so I listened carefully to see if I might detect
a sound that could have been associated with
a squadron of helicopters. But there was none.
    In fact there was no sound at all!
    I grabbed for my camcorder hoping to
capture some sort of video in the otherwise
pitch dark night.
    But about the time I started to aim in their
general direction the lights suddenly vanished!
    Could "They" have detected that someone
had a camera trained in their direction?
    Those thoughts pretty much stuck with me
until Saturday night.
     That's when we gathered round a campfire
at a small resort along the banks of Lake
Seneca near Watkins Glen, New York.
      While most of us were watching the fire
one of the guests was igniting a small flame
that's mounted below what amounts to a big,
colorful, paper bag. As the flame heated the
air the "lantern" floated silently, into the
air. It kept climbing and drifting until the
flame finally went out and the light from
the floating lantern disappeared!
      The sight, and sudden lack of it, brought
back memories of the UFOs I had seen!  The
look was too close to be a coincidence.
      It was, apparently, floating lanterns I had
seen in that night sky years ago......wasn't it?
      I hope it was........and that all your NEWS
is good!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bottle Of Wine, Fruit Of The Vine.....

  We spent some time with family and friends
at Lake Seneca this weekend.
   As you may know, this is "Wine Country."
   Given that fact we joined in a couple
obligatory visits to some wineries for just a
"sip" of their latest offerings.
    Nearly all of the places charge a couple of
bucks to sample a few of their wines. You could
look at it as a down payment since the "cover
charge" is returned to you when you purchase
a bottle of wine. We apparently looked so
thirsty we never even had to fork out the
sampling fee!
    The problem, for those who like wine, is
they all taste pretty good! So, chances are,
you'll probably end up buying a couple of
bottles. Then you learn there's a discount if
you actually buy a case. We got the discount!
    But we're strictly amateurs!
    Some people visit a dozen or so wineries
a day. They come in car caravans, buses, and
    Many buy several cases. I'm surprised they
just don't go for the oak barrels you see around
the places!
    I have to wonder if the New York State or
local police ever thought about setting up a
DUI Checkpoint on the highways around
this lake? They might be able to lower local
    Our wine should last until they've grown
a whole new crop of grapes next season. For
the moment I'm sticking with the 'Hard Stuff!"
    I'm on my 4th Diet soda of the day!
    Hope you've got a cork screw ready just
in case and that all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

I'm Still At "The Office."

    I was among the thousands of viewers who watched
the final chapter of "The Office" that aired on WBRE
Thursday night.
    I caught onto the series a little later than many. That's
not unusual for me!
    "All In The Family" had run for at least one full season
before I finally tuned in. And the comical detective "Monk
had solved at least a half dozen cases before my daughter
clued me in to that show.
    I learned to like "The Office" very quickly!
    I'm not sure if that's because I knew about so many of
the local places they mentioned all the time or because
I worked with a few people who were very similar to the
characters portrayed on the show.
     I remember one boss way back in my early radio days
who walked in one day shortly after taking the job and
told me I was being moved to mornings where he and I
would be doing a two-man comedy show! We became
"Chet & Dave" and the program was called "Sundial."
    I would watch him drive up in his topless Austin
Healey sport scar every morning. He either had no top or
it didn't come up any more. Then he'd get out with his
quart of milk (needed I suppose for his ulcer), come up to
the studio and we'd do the nuttiest things we could think of!
    I worked with an engineer who operated under the
assumption that every piece of equipment in the place,
including the "News Car" belonged to him and he'd get
like Dwight if you wanted to use for gathering
   Then there was the book keeper who practically made
you sign if you needed a new pencil!
    Those are just a few examples. I could describe a lot
more but there's that thing about "protecting the innocent!"
     I was thinking I'd miss "The Office." But the only thing
I'll have to miss is new episodes. The old ones, a few of
which I'm sure I missed, should be around for a very
long time in syndication. And as long as they're showing
people will be reminded there's a town called Scranton.
    I think that's a good thing.
    Now, back to work sorting all these paper products!
    Hope all your parties are like Scranton parties and
that all your NEWS is good!