Saturday, November 30, 2013

He's Here!


   Santa came to Plains Township Saturday!
   Our community welcomed him with
temperatures befitting his home at the North
Pole. Still hundreds of kids anxious to see him,
accompanied by parents who probably would
have preferred to be somewhere a lot warmer,
formed a reception line a full hour before the
big fellow actually arrived.
    Mr. Kringle's annual pre Christmas to our
town is facilitated by our Township Lions
    If your community doesn't have one I'd
suggest putting one on your Christmas list!
    The club cares about children as much as
Santa himself. And not just at Christmas!
    The Plains Lions provides stockings filled
with treats for the kids when Santa arrives, offers
hundreds of prizes during its annual Easter Egg
Hunt, and recently organized a "Trunk or
Treat" Halloween event to provide a lot of
goodies as well as a safe environment to
youngsters to celebrate Halloween!
     After the Santa Parade members
headed to a small tract of land known locally as
"The Brick." It's Plain's version of the town
square. When all the decorating is done it will
highlight a downtown district already lined with
Christmas lights. It really puts everyone in a
Christmas mood!
     I was happy Santa was able to accept the
Lion's invitation. I got as close as I could to get
some good photos. And, as long as I was there,
I might have mentioned that I have been very
good and will be forwarding my somewhat
extensive gift request list within a week. I told
him I was willing to sit on his lap and give him
all the particulars. But he said he'd rather just wait
for my list to come in the mail. Either way!
      Hope he's got everything in his workshop and
that all your NEWS is good!

Selling Like Hotcakes!

    I never even got to those Thanksgiving
Leftovers I wrote about yesterday! My
wife reminded me about another holiday
tradition we refuse to miss!
    Every year volunteers at the Unityville
Community Fire Company fire up their
grills and begin the process of cooking up
3,000 pounds of sausage and a never
ending number of Buckwheat pancakes
to raise funds for their department.
    What's especially unusual about this
food fest is the fact the company serves
this all you can eat delight continuously
from Friday morning till Sunday night!
That means you can show up at 2 in the
morning if it fits your schedule and chow
down on the best pancakes and sausage
you ever tasted.
    And it's more than just a fund raiser. It's
a community happening!
   Customers come from all around. The
firemen do the cooking. And their wives,
daughters and grand daughters do a
fantastic job making sure there's a constant
supply of food on the tables where serving
is "family style."
   You never know who you'll run into. Except,
maybe, me and my family. We always come
at least once.
   There will be a few others too! They expect
to serve as many as 5,000 people each year.
    I hope I've left enough for the rest of the
folks who come out! Hope you'll be among
them and that all of your NEWS is good!

Friday, November 29, 2013


    Meals should not be a problem for a few
days! As long as they're turkey or ham!
    All 13 family members gathered at my
daughter and son-in-law's home for our
Thanksgiving day feast yesterday.
    Timing looked as if it might be a problem
for awhile.
    The Security team at the development we
were visiting always scans the Driver's
licenses of visitors. But this was Thanksgiving
Day!  Practically every home owner was
expecting guests so gaining access was a little
like getting past Checkpoint Charlie back in
the days of the Berlin Wall!
    My wife and I were bringing the turkey!
   When the table was finally set, the bird,
wrapped in bacon, shared space with ham,
mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, and
assorted baked deserts.
    13 people could not totally consume the
multiple pounds of food available so the
leftovers have been divided and sent home
to continue our thanksgiving feast in our
individual homes. Everyone should have a
little bit of everything.......except the bacon!
There is no sign on any remains!
    Hope you gobbled down everything on
your table and that all your NEWS is good! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Home Movies!

    My wife and I spent a busy Thanksgiving
Eve at home yesterday.
    While she wrapped the turkey in bacon, a
tradition originated and endorsed by our
grand children, I took on the task of trying to
organize my home movies.
    When I realized the scope of the task it
occurred to me there was a fair chance the
bird would be stuffed and fully cooked
before I'd be done.
    Allow me to explain. My movies, now
transferred to dvd's, begin with copies of 8
mm film from around 1945 or so.
    I followed my Dad's lead and shot a lot
of film until video tape came along. Then I
shot a lot more!
    One of my nieces once described me as the
uncle with one eye and a viewfinder!
    Yesterday I tried to arrange by movies by
year and, where possible, by months. They're
not all marked as good as they ought to be! 
     It wasn't till I loaded my new cabinet that I
realized just how many videos I've produced
over those years. Steven Spielberg might be
    By rough count I have some 564 dvd's. Most
of them have two hours of video. That's some
1128 hours! At that rate you can stop by and
watch my home movies for 47 days straight!!!
That's even longer that Gone With The Wind!
    Of course that doesn't count what I'll be
shooting today!
    Hope you'll bring the pop corn and that all
your NEWS is good! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Early Dismissal

  Well, as expected, the season's first snowfall
prompted many regional school districts to
either delay the start or classes, call for an
early dismissal or, in some cases, cancel
classes completely.
  A couple school bus accidents reminded us
about the dangers of traveling when there's a
storm warning.
  But they reminded me of something else! The
good old days of local school districts and
neighborhood schools!
  My Elementary school was located two blocks
from my home. My Junior High school was all
of three blocks away.
  My High School was a full mile away. And
you had to cross a city street that was also a
State Highway to there.
  While there was some bus transportation, most
of us walked to school! No, it was not uphill in
both directions. But it was a walk whether it was
sunny, rainy, or snowing. Sometimes back and
forth twice as lunch was usually at home!
  During my 12 years school was only cancelled
once because of a snow storm. That must have
been a dozy!
  And it must have hit the night before or early
morning of the school day. No cancellation based
on predictions back then!
  And do you ever wonder how some of our old
buildings, not good enough to be schools anymore,
are now apartment buildings for senior citizens?
Of course I, for one, would have no interest in
trying to relax in a room where I once took math
and spelling tests!
    I'd like to see some of them reopened as schools!
    Maybe kids would be safer and healthier if they
could walk to a neighborhood school once again!
And many they wouldn't have to cancel or cut so
much class time!
    Hope you remember the "good old days" and
that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shopping Reminder Day!

    As if anybody really needed it....this is
"Shopping Reminder Day!" 
    I got a head start on the occasion as my
wife took me shopping yesterday. The idea
was to get everything we needed for
Thanksgiving before the storm predicted for
today showed up.
    Although shopping is not my favorite
activity yesterday's excursion proved as good
as any visit to a Comedy Club. My wife
provided the entertainment.
    What man could possibly keep a straight
face when his wife asks whether he prefers
one scent of dish washing detergent over
another? You might be shocked by the
lack of attention I give dish washing
detergent generally, let alone its scent! I
seldom sniff dish washing detergent!
    Or whether one package of Bacon looks
better than another produced by some other
company. I usually judge the quality of my
bacon after it has been fried!
    Then there's that moment when you're
asked "Do we need this?"  The question
could be applied to virtually any product.
The answer puts a man on dangerous
    First, I have no idea if "we" really need
the product or, second, if the real question
is does she want whatever it is?
    These, I believe, are the reasons why I
can enter a market on my own and emerge
with everything on my list at least a half
hour earlier than when we go as a team!
    Hope you remember to go shopping,
get a sweet smelling dish washing detergent,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Talking Turkey

    By now you're probably aware that we're
having another Thanksgiving this coming
    It's a holiday filled with traditions. But a
couple of those traditions have changed over
the years.
   Back in the day many of us had something
important to do before the family gathered
for dinner. We headed to our local stadium
to watch a football game!
   In my case Thanksgiving was the day for
the annual Hazleton vs. West Hazleton game.
  A lot of communities had similar local
rivalries on Thanksgiving day, And win or
lose the game was as much a part of the
holiday as turkey and cranberry sauce!
   School district mergers have pretty much
done away with that tradition although a few
survive in scattered communities.
   Lucky for us a new tradition is taking their
   Now instead of getting together with friends
to cheer on your Alma can go
   Hoping to get a head start on the Black Friday
shopping hoards, a number of shops and big box
stores have decided to open their doors on
Thanksgiving. I'm not sure it's quite as exciting
as a "1st and goal" with a minute left in a tie
game. And I can't believe too many of the
employees will be cheering!
  We picked up our turkey yesterday. The rest of
our Thanksgiving shopping should be done today.
   I miss the old Turkey Day football tradition.
  Think I'll miss the Thanksgiving shopping
tradition too. That is to won't see me out
there Thursday rooting for Walmart.
   Hope your turkey is thawing and that all your
NEWS is good!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What Was That?!

     We were headed out to enjoy an early
evening dinner at Coopers Seafood in
     It was already dark and the cold wind
made it seem like winter had already
arrived. That thought was reinforced by
the arrival of Santa earlier in the day.
     We were just about at the city limit
when it came!
      "It" was a white wall of snow twisting
like a tornado that suddenly appeared out
of nowhere! A block behind us there had
been nothing!
      The street ahead seemed to disappear.
       I had heard about the possibility of
snow flurries. But this squall gave me the
impression I had just driven into the
route of the Polar Express!
       I don't know if it followed Santa here.
But if that's the case, he can head back to the
pole to finish his work. I'll be happy to wait
until his scheduled appearance on December
       Much more of it and I'd be sending for
Rudolph myself to guide my sleigh, that is
van, through the blinding snow.
       I'm still not sure how we found the turn
towards or entrance to the restaurant, But
it proved a welcome port to the storm!
      Thankfully the blast of snow seemed to
go as quickly as it had come! It did leave a
sort of calling card on top of the car!
       Hope your route is clear, your house
is warm, and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut!

   Well it's here. The day you've been waiting for.
Or maybe not.
    This is National Cashew Day!
    These nuts are actually native to Brazil. The
Portuguese exported them during the 16th century.
     I bought our latest batch at the Christmas Tree
Shop. It was one of those things I didn't set out to
buy. The can just sat there looking good.
     And who could resist a product turned out by
the "Superior Nut Company?"
     I did a little research and was surprised by what
I found!
     Did you know that parts of the cashew tree can
be used for medicinal and manufacturing purposes?
     Acid from the cashew nutshells is effective in
healing tooth abscesses and the tree's seeds can be
ground up into a powder and used as an antivenom
for snake bites. I hate snakes! Maybe that's why I
like cashews!?
     Turns out they're even good for your car!
     The oil from the nutshells is used in brake linings
 as well as in rubber and plastic materials.
      And here, all this time, I've been buying them
because they tasted so good! Nutty isn't it?
      Be sure to mark the date on your calendar. It's
an annual celebration!
      Hope you cash in on Cashew Day and that all 
your NEWS is good!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Top 10 List (plus)

   There's an interesting game making the
rounds of Facebook. Participants are
challenged to revel some facts about
themselves others might not know.
    I thought it might make an interesting
Blog. So, here goes!
    I reunited two Titanic survivors.
    I have had lines in two movies.
    I lost one of those movie rolls to Henry
Winkler (the Fonz).
    I have flown a Piper aircraft from take
off to landing without anyone else working
the controls.
   I have been at the controls of the Met Life
   I have been at the controls of a Sea Plane.
   I am not a pilot!
   I have Para sailed.
   I have sung with the Lennon sisters.
   I was the last witness in a hearing involving
the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in a car driven
by Senator Ted Kennedy.
   I didn't go to college but taught in two of them.
  There's more, But that should hold you for now!
   Hope all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

   It's time for another "oldie" from Double
Dee's Dusty Dungeon!  The Blog was
first published in 2011. But I just checked
and the story theme is the same now as it
was then! is Die Hard II
 One of our favorite movie theaters shut
down after Sunday's feature presentations.
    I'm not sad.
    I'm shocked!
    You see the theater in question is a Drive
     I'm amazed it ran this long into Fall!
     I've always had a soft spot in my heart for
 drive ins!
     My Dad was the projectionist for the first
one that opened in the Hazleton area. He
worked at several over the years.
     Way before my 16th birthday I was learning
to drive by steering his 1950 Buick  in between
the rows of speakers. Speakers, for those of you
who don't remember, used to be hung inside
your car window so you could hear the sound
from the movie.
     Every few nights a customer would drive
off before remembering to  return the speaker to
its holder.
    That was bad for the speaker and...sometimes
....for the car window!
     Drive In Theaters have always had a lot
going against them. Their 'prime time' is in the
summer. But since you can't start the show till
it gets dark that means waiting till about 9 o'clock.
     By the time the sun sets early kids are back in
 school and the nights are getting cool.
     Many Drive Ins only run movies on the
weekends so school nights are only an issue on
Sunday in the fall. Except, around that time they're
competing with Friday night football and
Saturday night dances.
     Still, until Sunday night, the Bay Drive In
Alexandria Bay, New York, has been running
double features on each of its two screens since
last spring!
    Of course, since it's located about a mile from the
Saint Lawrence Seaway, night time temperatures
over the past few weekends have been hovering
around 39 degrees.
    The guy who runs the place is a real 'Die Hard.'
    And, of course, the closing is only temporary...
till next Spring.
    I've been tempted to head out to see a couple of
shows over the past few weeks. But the five hour
trip gave me second thoughts!
    Now I'll have to wait till vacation time!
    Hope you get out to a Drive In when the season
starts up again and, as always, that all your NEWS
is good!
    (The Bay Drive In's last showing for the season
was this past Sunday)


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not Your Normal Elves!

     They may not work at the North Pole
but there are a lot of  "elves" working out
there this week to make Christmas very
special for children they'll probably never
      These "elves" come in all shapes, ages,
and sizes. They are men, women, and kids!
       I am one of them!
       We're all working on a project called
Operation Christmas Child.
       Churches throughout the country, many
in our area, have been filling shoe boxes with
small toys, coloring books, crayons, tooth
brushes, and other items that will be sent to
children somewhere in the world who don't
find piles of presents waiting under a
Christmas tree each year.
      Our church is a regional collection center
so, this week, our elves are packing hundreds
and hundreds of the shoe boxes into cartons
which, in turn, will be delivered to an area
collection site.
      Fortunately we don't have to actually make
the toys and gifts like those elves that work for
      Our leader is the one for whom Christmas
is named. And it makes you feel good to know
your efforts will bring a smile to a child somewhere
in the world!
      You don't even need pointy ears to make all
their NEWS good for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Gettysburg Address

    Seven score and ten years ago today
President Abraham Lincoln delivered a
speech in Gettysburg Pennsylvania that,
according to his own words, would be
little noted nor long remembered by the
    Boy, did he get that wrong!
    Who hasn't heard or maybe even
been forced to memorize and recite those
272 words at one time or another?
    For kids today it may be one of the
few things they know about Lincoln.
Except that they named a car after him!
    I'll bet most have only heard the term
"score" in reference to a football or
baseball game. Perhaps as in the music
from one of their school plays.
    This may be a good time to clear up a
big misconception about that famous
speech. It was not written in a train on the
way to Gettysburg!
    There are five know copies and each is
written in a steady even script which would
have been virtually impossible to do on a
train back in the Civil War era. Way too
   You kids might want to impress your
teacher with that bit of historic trivia.
   If that doesn't work you can wow
everyone in the class with some important
information I've come up with through my
extensive research.
   If you are ever asked if you know the
 Gettysburg address, the correct answer is
 97 Taneytown Road!
   That's the National Cemetery where
Lincoln made the speech. It's the
Gettysburg address address!
    Hope you're all impressed with my
historical knowledge and that all your
NEWS is good!

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Apple A Day!

    We've all heard that old saying..."An
apple a day keeps the doctor away."
I'm not sure just how accurate it is. But
there's no question there's a lot of ways
to put apples to use!
    My son-in-law, two grand kids and I
picked out a few choice ones for eating
when we visited Ritter's in Lackawanna
County yesterday.
    The bins there were full of different
varieties. I don't know the difference
between those various types. I only know
they all taste good!
    Of course those tasty fruits can also be
put to good use in other ways.
    Pies are a logical option and there were
plenty at the orchard. So is Cider.
    But these folks have gone the whole mile
to market their product. That's why so many
customers show up to watch as the Apple
Cider donuts roll off the production line!
They're the best of both worlds!
    Of course we all know there are always a
few "bad apples" in the bunch.
    Not to worry. They've even found a good
use for those as well! And it's my grand kids
favorite part of the visit.
    It's the Apple Sling Shot! You grab one of
those bad apples, load it in the sling, and fire
your apple at a target some 20 yards away.
Hey! Who would have ever thought...An apple
a day keeps the bad guy away!? Maybe we
could all add an apple slingshot to our home
security systems! No one in his right mind
wants to get clobbered by a Mackintosh!
    Hope you're happy to the "core" and that all
your NEWS is good!