Monday, June 30, 2014

Jeter And Me!

   I thought it was about time to make it official.
   I have decided this will be my final year as
a "pick up game" Softball pitcher.
   Derek Jeter and I are both retiring.
   Derek and I have a lot in common.
   We both have baseball gloves and wear  a
baseball cap!
   Our "stats," of course, vary just a bit.
   Derek began playing ball as a Little
Leaguer. He is now in his 20th year in the
Big Leagues.
    I didn't begin playing organized ball
until around 1959 when somebody talked
me into coming out to a Church League
Fast pitch Softball game.
    I started out playing first base and, at
first, was a power hitter. I hit a Home Run
in each of my first three games!
    Later I tried pitching and actually threw
a three hit shut out in a league play off
    Unfortunately they put me back on the
mound the following day! I kept watching
the ball sail over my outfielder's heads!
    Fast pitch eventually turned to Slow
pitch league play. And. years later I found
myself pitching whenever the TV station
could get a game with some other team,
usually for the benefit of some charity.
   I'm 71 now and there was only one year
I can recall when there wasn't at least a few
games on the schedule.
   That's longer than Roger Clements or
even Satchel Page!
    My Win/Loss record wasn't the best,
although there was that one year when  the
WYOU team won all but one game! Our
only loss came in a tournament when we
played the Marines who actually came onto
the field in their combat boots and did
calisthenics before the game!
    I was personally convinced they had a
sniper somewhere in the stands!
    I've long since stopped hitting Home Runs.
    When lucky enough to make it to First base
I call for a runner to take my place. Running
is a term that has generally disappeared from
my vocabulary. I have this thing about
liking to breath!
     So, I made the decision that, like Jeter,
this would be my final year.
     Of course the only invitation I received
thus far is from my WBRE/WYOU team
which was trying to schedule a game on the
very day my family and I leave for the Jersey
Shore! I've decided on the shore!
      If there's no other chance the record
keepers will have to go back to last season
when we won the only game we played,
and I was on the mound!
     If that's the case at least I'll go out a
     Unlike Derek, however, I guess there will
be no 'Farewell Tour" with gifts and good
      Of course I won't rule out a comeback!
      Hope you always "know the score" and
that all of your NEWS is good!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Where are Lincoln's Logs?

   This, being the last Sunday in June, is National
Log Cabin Day! But you probably already knew
that. Right?
   It was created by the Log Cabin Society and the
"Bad Ax Historical Society" in Michigan back in
   Now when most folks thing about log cabins
they usually think about President Abe Lincoln
who, we are told, was born in one.
   Interestingly, in 1883 they disassembled
Lincoln's family cabin and shipped it to
Chicago to be put on display for the World's
Colombian Exposition. Problem is...somebody
lost it after the Exposition closed!
   How do you lose Abe Lincoln's Cabin????
   Maybe somebody needed fire wood. Or maybe
somebody moved it to their own lot somewhere
in the hope one of their kids would grown up to
be President?
   There's a log cabin in our family history too.
   My great Uncle Charley Goyne, my Mom's
Uncle, was a gold miner in Alaska!
   Modern records of his claim indicate the
"remains of a cabin" can still be found at the
site. We're lucky enough to have a photo of
him, standing in front of that cabin!
    He mined the site for several years, also
worked on the docks, and finally settled
in the small community of Saint John's, just
outside Hazleton.
   He choose to live a small cabin!
   Surprise, surprise!
   That one wasn't log. But it was close enough
to suit him!
    I'll be thinking about Uncle Charlie on this
National Log Cabin Day.
   I'll remember how he used to tell me there was
a million dollars worth of gold in his mine...but
it would have cost two million to get it out! Of
course gold is worth a lot more today than it was
   Some of me would like to go to his old claim,
rebuild the cabin and get he rest of that gold out.
   The other part of me remembers how Uncle
Charlie would always say he was "Smart enough
to know how dumb I am."
    So, knowing nothing about building log cabins
and little more about mining for gold I guess I'll
just stay put, enjoy this "unusual Holiday," and with my grand kid's Lincoln
    Wait a minute! They're gone too! Replaced
by Legos! Hey! That could be a new trend.......
"Lincoln Legos!"
    Hope your home is solid, whatever it's made
from, and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Day On The Chain Gang!

  I am sore today!
  It is the result of my labor on the
Chain Gang yesterday!
  Allow me to explain.
  One of my daughters bought a house.
She is now in the process of clearing
out her old house so it can be put on
the market.
   She and her family moved into the
new place a couple weeks ago.
   And yet, with the exception of
actual furniture, the old place seems
filled with "things" accumulated over
the past dozen years or so.
    Unfortunately some of those things,
about a ton or so, were in an upstairs
    My wife, being a "planner", decided
the best way to haul the load downstairs
would be to form a Chain Gang so the
items could be passed from one person
to another until they reached the first
     I was initially sentenced...I mean
stationed...on the first floor. I'd take
the boxes, books, and other bundles
from my other daughter to any spot I
found open.
      Well, almost any spot. You see in
addition to passing the items from
daughter, to wife, to other daughter,
to me, there were instructions!
       Some items were to be placed on
the left of the room for eventual
shipment to the new house. Other items
were to go to the right for today's
massive Yard Sale.
       The need to decipher left or right
prohibited my wife's participation on
the first floor since she frequently has
trouble distinguishing the difference
between those two.
       Of course by the time all the items
 were transferred it was hard for anyone
to determine where left ended and right
       I came away a little sore and very
thankful I was elsewhere the day they
did the attic!
       Hope no one in the family every
moves again and that all your NEWS
is good!

Friday, June 27, 2014


     It's June 27th everybody. And that means it's
Sunglasses Day!
     They're a vital accessory on a bright Summer
day Especially if you're headed due west around
      But these days "shades" are "in" even when
the sun isn't out!
      Some folks wear them to avoid being
recognized.  Although it's common for
recognizable figures, like movie stars, to be seen
in sunglasses most any time.
       All the Secret Service guys in the movies
wear sunglasses. Of course, now that I think of
it, all the Body Guards for the Mafia kingpins
wear them too.
       Sunglasses are as important as leather
jackets for the Biker crowd. I always wore
them when I hit the road with my 90cc Honda.
That way the bugs hit the glasses instead of my
       A lot of guys, I stress the term guys, wear
them whatever the weather just to look "cool."
       Then there's those who wear them to
protect their eyes from the sun! Imagine that!
       I have a vast selection of sunglasses. That's
because I was always misplacing them...or
scratching lenses by putting the glasses in the
same pocket as keys and such.
      My wife finally got me one of those stretch
bands, like the ones baseball players have, to
let me keep the glasses hanging around my
neck when I wasn't wearing them in front of
my eyes.
      Now, they're laying around again.
      My prescription glasses have those special
lenses that darken when I'm out in the bright
sunshine. They're great. Except, of course, when
you come in from that sunshine and trip over
the things you can't see because nobody told
the glasses you're now inside!
       But, since I don't need any of those other
pairs I'm thinking of giving them to Brad Pitt
or somebody from the Secret Service.
       With a little luck they'll be enough
sunshine today so we can all celebrate by
looking like movie stars or Secret Agents!
        Hope you're designer shades are
ready and that all your NEWS is good!

(For clarification, the second photo is that
of Brad Pitt. The first one is me! The third,,
well he's Secret Service so that's secret!)



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Another Cell For Me!

     Circumstances found me shopping for a
new cell yesterday. A that is.
      This industry has come a long way in a
fairly short time.
      I clearly remember when I was asked to
do a special News promotional piece for
WYOU in which I showed off our brand new
"Bag Phone." That was a very big deal back
then! It was also a pretty big phone!
      Before that we used to have to search for
a telephone booth to call the station with news
updates or discuss our plans for covering a
     We all had two way radios. But we always
figured the competition was listening in so we
didn't want to say too much. They were of course!
Just as we listened in to their two way radio
     Now cell phones do just about everything
but fly! You can talk, text, check the web, watch
YouTube, even take your own video.
     I just wanted something simple. In fact I
would have been content with voice only. Sort
of a "Not So Smart Phone."
    But I've got one daughter, one grandson, and
one colleague who usually only communicate via
text. So, I included that feature.
       One of my grand daughters took the time
to teach me how to switch to upper case letters
(we used to call them capital letters) about two
weeks ago. Now she'll have to teach a post
graduate course on my new phone!
      The folks at the Phone Store were great
in getting my number switched to my new
      They also switched all of my contacts.
      That may have been a mistake!
      I'm beginning to realize that many of the
individuals whose numbers I stored many
years ago are no longer in the same positions.
      Several have retired. Several have left the
area. A couple are in jail and probably don't
have their phones any more! At least none of
them are dead! Not that I know of anyway.
      So, I guess the first order of business on
my Cell....will be to delete a few names and
numbers. Since my grand daughter isn't here
I may have to actually read the manual!
       Hope I've got your number and that all
of your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Texting In The Movies

    Patrons at most any area movie theater
usually get a couple of warnings before the
feature starts to shut off their cellphones.
    "No texting or talking." That's how one
of the reminders reads. The announcer
doing the voice over tells us..."Don't be the
one we ask you to leave. Because we will."
      I support the crack down because I've
been the victim of insensitive people who
feel compelled to light up their bright
little screen to answer or send a text in the
middle of a movie. It's very disturbing.
      Ironically, however, during the past
month or so I have seen more texting in
the theater than I've ever seen before!
      I know the "offenders" won't be asked
to leave. In fact, they can't be asked to
      You see the texting I'm referring to
is being done ON THE SCREEN!!!
      More and more features seem to
contain scenes in which the actor is
sending a text message to someone.
      The producers show you the messages
written out in what cartoon drawers call
a "Speech Balloon." You know, those
balloon like circles where you read
what Porkey Pig or Daffy Duck is
thinking or "saying."
      There were plenty of those Balloons
in the movie  "Chef" which we took in
       Suddenly movie goers are being
required to do a little reading if they want
to follow the story line!
       It's going to be interesting, when the
time comes, to see these features reduced
to the typical television sized screen.
       A written message that looks about
two feet tall and three feet wide when
projected on a theater screen is likely to
look like the fine print on a contract when
it makes it to Turner Classics!
      And what happens if the movie happens
to be one of those Foreign Films?
     Well.....I suppose texting has become
so common in daily life that Hollywood
can't ignore it.
     And.....who am to "burst their bubble?"
     Hope you're a quick read...and that all
your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Where The "Twain" Meet!

  Most people think of the Mason/Dixon Line
as that legendary boundary between the North
and the South during the Civil War.
   I think it may be in Pittston!
   It does separate "North" and "South."
   But, in this case the "North" would be
Scranton and the "South" would be Wilkes-
   I noticed it the other day while walking
in Pittston.
   There were two signs on a pole. One above
the other.
    One read: "Colts" route. The other had a
big "L" and the words "bus stop."
    Turns out Pittston is the only city, and I
stress the term "city" that is served by both
the County of Lackawanna Transit System
and the Luzerne County Transportation
    So, if you live in Pittston you can board
a COLT's bus to Scranton or an LCTA motor
coach to Wilkes-Barre. That seems to make
Pittston an attractive 'bedroom community"
for both of its larger neighboring cities.
     Of course there is another "population
center" served by both of the bus companies.
And it may be the most popular destination
for both. That, of course, is the Casino at
Mohegan Sun! Buses are coming there
from just about everywhere. North, south,
east, and west of the Mason/Dixon!
    There are no "Ghosts" on the Casino
    My grand kids call the local transit
vehicles the "town buses."
    It's good to know where I can get one
going my way....which ever town I want
to get to! I'll just have to find a way to get
to Pittston.
    Hope you've got your fare ready and that
all your NEWS is good!


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Best Things In Life Are Free!

  We usually head for a good restaurant after
church to share a Sunday dinner with family
and friends.
   Yesterday, however, we went into the
    My daughter and her cousin, our niece,
decided that this "Sunday dinner" would
consist of cold meats and cheese and be
served at a picnic!
    The heat had the youngsters thinking
about swimming....and playing catch....
and playing soccer.
     So, we found the perfect "back yard" to
do it all! We headed for Hickory Run State
      In neighboring New York a similar
outing would have required an entrance fee
and, in some cases, an additional admission
to use the swimming facilities.
      All we had to do was chip in for the
grub and make sure all our swimmers brought
their bathing suits!
      The kids alternated between the swimming
area and the field used for their various games.
       I got caught in between shifts a couple of
times with my teenage grandson who wasn't
interested in hitting the water.
       First we threw a Softball. Later a Football.
       I cut both sessions just a bit short, opting
to keep breathing, rather than making
sensational catches!
       We were entertained by a group using
nearby picnic tables to host their Hawaiian
Luau themed Birthday party. We even managed
to successfully beg for a couple pieces of cake!
       All in all a really great day. And the price
was certainly right!
       Hope you take advantage of everything
offered for free and....that all of your NEWS
is good!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Great Traffic Jam!

    Tioga Street, the Main thoroughfare running
through the Borough of Tunkhannock, was
literally jammed yesterday.
     There was no way a car could move. But,
then again, there weren't any cars!
     The Street was blocked off as residents
and visitors came to town for "Founder's Day!"
And there were thousands of them!   
      It's like having a carnival in the middle
of town!
      Tents lined both sides of the street. They
served as booths for Service organizations,
artists, craftsmen, and vendors of all sorts.
      Folding chairs were set out on the street
in front of a portable stage where parents
and their kids watched performances ranging
from a Puppet show to a Western show
complete with Saloon girls and Gun Slingers.
      Church groups served up dinners for
those craving a full meal. 
       There was something for everyone. And
it was great to see people coming together
to celebrate the community whether you
were a local or a visitor.
        I think the founders would have loved
       Hope you get to a similar celebration
now that Summer is here....and that all of
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Moving Pictures!

       It's common to see people taking pictures
 where ever you go these days.
       In many cases they're not even using a
traditional camera. Most Cell phones, "Smart"
or not, take pictures.
       I happen to prefer videos and almost
always have my camcorder somewhere close
at hand.
      I began shooting movies many years ago
with an 8mm film camera. Next came Super
8, then VHS video tape and, most recently,
Digital High 8.
     I've literally got thousands of hours of
home video.
     But my friend has put new meaning to
the term "Moving pictures.!"
     I've written about him before. He photographs
nearly everything and everybody he sees.
     But, after downloading one of his photo
cards to retrieve one particular group picture,
I was stunned when I realized how many of
his shots were "moving pictures!"
      In his case, however, I'm not talking about
      I'm referring to pictures he apparently
snapped while driving his car along the
highway and city streets! He didn't seem to stop
as he clicked the shutter!
     At least if he rear ends somebody he'll
have a good shot of their license plate!
     I'm not sure if I was more shocked by the
photos.....or by the fact that my friend spent
most of his educational career teaching........
Driver's Education!!!!!!!
      I never used a camera to paraell park!
      I've included a few of his "moving pictures"
for your perusal.
      Hope he made it home safely and that all
your NEWS is good!

Friday, June 20, 2014


 We and our traveling companions took
a walk through Watkins Glen, New York
before beginning our trip back home
   There's always something neat to see
there. Like sports cars for us guys and
antique shops our wives checked out!
   But I saw one of the most impressive
things I've seen in years during our
stop at a local restaurant there!
  In fact I could hardly believe my eyes!
  The place was "Mr. Chicken" which
had been recommended by a good friend
who frequents the Glen area.
  As the name implies, this fast food
outlet specializes in all sorts of chicken
   But it wasn't the huge menu or even the
vast collection of Chicken novelties
lining the shelves that raised my eyebrows
and lowered my jaw.
   I was stunned to see each of the waitresses
taking customer's orders, item by item, then
adding the prices to get the total WITHOUT
using a register or calculator!
  They were actually adding all the numbers
just as many of us had been taught to do
way back in our Elementary School
Arithmetic Class!!!
   And, would you believe it?  Their totals
were correct!
    Businesses everywhere should be seeking
out  these workers! In most establishments.....
if the power goes out....the clerks are lost!
    Anything above 2 + 2 becomes as
equation all too many "associates" are
unable to handle with just a pencil and
     Imagine, good addition and some great
chicken too! Now that really adds up!
     Hope you can tell a plus from a minus,
and that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Full Speed Ahead!

   Our contingent of couples took to the
water yesterday!
    No. We were not swimming.
    We pooled our resources, in our case
credit cards, and rented a pontoon boat
to conduct our own tour of Lake Seneca.
     Since one of our friends owns a
similar vessel we appointed him Captain.
      It was far more than an honorary title.
      His name and address appeared on
the liability paperwork and the rest of
us fully understood that, in case of an
accident, he would be required to go down
with the ship!
       Like Gilligan and the skipper, we were
prepared for just about anything.
       We had a horn, a whistle, flares, life
jackets and, most importantly, BLT
sandwiches to carry us through our voyage.
        Several passengers took turns at the
helm as we sailed along the 38 mile long
lake and over it's 600 plus feet deep water!
        Our vessel's depth gauge showed just
three and a half feet under the keel at one
point.......a reading we all questioned given
the average depth of 291 feet.
        Volunteers were sought to step out to
see if they could touch bottom. But, strangely,
there seemed to be no takers.
         There were suggestions we pay our
respects at a Naval Test Station in the
middle of the large lake. But the possibility
of outrunning a torpedo with a pontoon
boat seemed a bit risky we abandoned
the idea.
         Our voyage back to port took us to the
other side of the lake to see how the rich, if
not famous, people live.
         It might have taken us a lot farther had
I not spotted a Blue Roof I pointed out as a
land mark when we initially began our voyage.
         And so, in an hour less time than the
Minnow's scheduled cruise we returned to the
dock from whence we left , safe, well fed, and
        Hope you have smooth sailing as you
tackle your day and that all your NEWS is

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


  8 of us, 4 couples, met up at a quaint resort on the
shore of Lake Seneca for a couple days relaxation.
  Two of the couples have only know each other about
two years. Two of us, individually, have been friends
since first grade.
  And yet, we are all old friends!
  Our shared experiences make it seem as though we
have all known each other forever.
  And, judging from our casual conversations around
the pool yesterday afternoon, the term "old" seems
very fitting, although our ages differ by as much as 10
   Listening intently I detected mention of at least 5
"bad" knees, two irregular heart beats, one case of
Parkinson's disease, and descriptions, several perhaps
a bit too descriptive, of various operations members of
our group or close family have undergone in the recent
    That information was followed closely by details
of pending appointments designed to address the aforesaid
or foreseeable conditions in the weeks ahead.
     I, being next to the oldest, personally contribute to
the mortgage, car and. or boat payments for at least five
physicians and one dentist.
     My close friend, and my senior by some 6 months,
enjoyed relating details of a recent operation which he,
under local anesthesia, wished to watch as he underwent
the procedure.
     I attribute this bizarre desire to a Freudian attempt at
revenge for his mother's refusal to allow him to join me
watching Frankenstein movies during our youth.
     Momentarily I though myself to be in the parlor of
a rest home somewhere, awaiting my, or my neighbor's next
     Yet, just minutes later, four of my colleagues were
engaged in a rather vigorous game of shuffleboard, two
more portrayed "Minnesota fats" round a nearby pool table,
while the seventh was busy wearing me out both hitting
or retrieving a ping pong ball!
     since my left knee was one of the five mentioned earlier
I may have been the first to give out, opting for dinner and,
later, a restful evening round  a blazing campfire.
     Although a head count is yet to be taken as I write, it
look like all eight of us survived the night.
    I expect further medical briefings will be offered as
the day progresses.
     Hope you're feeling well, and that all your news is good!  


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Dynamic Duo!

    It's been a long time since this
Dynamic Due was on screen
together. Years back they were
both on the same team all the time!
    You'd often see them talking
about crime in our area.....or.....
the weather.
    What? Oh, you thought I was
talking about Batman and Robin!
    No. I'm referring to me and
my WDAU/WYOU buddy
Derry Bird!
     Derry was kind enough to
come out of retirement to join me
as my co-host on ECTV Live, a
weekly program I anchor and
produce for Electric City Television
on Comcast Cable.
    He did some anchoring and a lot
of weather forecasting during his
years with Channel 22.
    He's shared the spotlight with a
lot of notable TV personalities over
the years. Debbie Donleavy, Kent
Wuestling, Sue Miller, Barbara
Monaco,  and........ "THE BAT!"
    Once again...No...not Bat Man!
    In one of the stations most
memorable newscasts  a
live bat invaded the studio while
the news was on the air!
     It was 34 years ago. But many
people still remember Derry coming
on set clutching onto a large broom!
     He was apparently ready to defend
himself and the rest of the news team!
      Derry and I were also part of the
WYOU Softball team back in the days
when I didn't need a pinch runner!
       He was a good player. And, always
ahead of the trends, wore his cap "Dude
style" long before any of us knew what
a "Dude" was!
       It was good to be back on the air
with him....without a broom or bat!
       Hope I can bring him back again
and that all your NEWS is good!