Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Something To Chew On!

      OK gang! It's the last day of September. So let's send the
 month out with a bang! Well...let's make it a Pop!
      You see September 30th is Chewing Gum Day!
       Nobody seem to know the origin of this unique "holiday."
       But chewing has been around for a very long time. The
 first chewing gum making machine was patented by Thomas
 Adams in 1871.
       He's the guy who came up a licorice flavored gum called
Black Jack!
       Of course there's all kinds of flavored gum these days in
addition to sugar free chewing and bubble gum.
I still get in trouble when I chew my gum around my wife.
She says I chew "too loud" and sometimes "like a cow."
       It  doesn't sound that loud inside my head and, anyway,
cows don't chew gum!
       I began chewing gum to avoid waste. It came in my
 pack of Baseball Cards.
       I think chewing gum is good for people. It keeps some
from smoking or eating too much. And think of all its other
       Gum can be used to plug leaks (temporally of course).
       Some gum still comes wrapped in tin foil. That wrapping
can complete electrical connections! In the days before circuit
breakers gum wrappers used in place of a dead fuse have kept
the lights on in some houses (usually just before they burned
to the ground!).
       And there's always some gum around. Always in stores
and often under the seats in stadiums!
      Gum has only three natural enemies. Mothers, wives, and
 teachers! Chewers should try to avoid all three and never get
 caught blowing a bubble in the vicinity of any of them!
      You might want to celebrate the day with some Double
Mint or, perhaps, some Double Bubble!
      Remember, though, should you come across a Mom, Wife,
or a teacher try to dispose of your gum properly and avoid
swallowing it!
       Hope your chewing gum keeps its flavor on the bed post
 overnight and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'll Miss You 2

  No apologies friends. I am a Yankee
fan. It stems, I'm sure, from the fact the
first Baseball game my Dad took me to
was one in Yankee Stadium. The original
"House the Ruth built."
  I don't remember what year that was.
But it's likely Phil Rizzuto was still the
Yankee shortstop back then.
  My Yankee idol was Mickey Mantle!
  But Mickey was the reason I never
played organized baseball.
  I never tried out for a team until the
Teener's League. Since Mantle was my
man I naturally tried out for Center
Field. The coach said I'd have to be
able to catch a ball in the outfield and
throw it to home plate on just once
   I quickly learned that I had trouble
just throwing the ball to the infield on
one bounce! Needless to say I didn't
make the team.
   A couple years later I turned to
Softball and, up till last year, I've
played ever since....first as a First
Baseman and later as a Pitcher.
   Even though I didn't play I still loved
   I hit a lot of the Red Barron games
at the stadium in Moosic when the
Phillies Triple A team played here.
   It was at one of those games when I
met another Yankee team great, Gene
"Stick" Michaels. He had come to
watch the Columbus Clippers play
and to scout a young kid named
Derek Jeter.
   How could I possibly know he, and
I, would be seeing a young man who
would become one of the most
popular players in Yankee history?
    Derek came back to Moosic last
year although I'm sure he would have
preferred to be at Yankee Stadium. He
was here on a rehabilitation assignment
after a serious injury.
     This year, as everyone knows, was his
last. He's been honored by his team,
opponents, big names from other sports,
and, perhaps most impressively, by fans
who not only don't root for the Yankees
but, even more, hate the Yankees.
     That speaks pretty well of the guy.
      He leaves with a lot of impressive
statistics which you'll hear or read about.
      But one, seldom mentioned, may say
more about him than all the other
accolades. It reflects his dedication to
respect of the game.
     Number of times ejected by an
umpire in 20 years........0 !
      I kind of wish he had been playing
when I tried out for Teener's League.
     I'll miss watching him playing for
the Yankees. But maybe he'll have some
time for Softball now! I'd love to show
him my 12 mile per hour Fastball!
      Hope he comes back to the area
and that all your NEWS is good!



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ask A Stupid Question Day!

    As a former news reporter this day has special
meaning to me.
    September 28th is "Ask A Stupid Question Day."
    It was established by teachers back in the 80's
who were trying to encourage students to ask more
questions in the classroom.
    It has often been said there is no such thing as a
stupid question. I would have to disagree. Some of
my colleagues in the media prove that on an all too
regular basis. Not that it's limited to them.
    I often wondered why ,for instance, when you've
checked yourself into an emergency room, the first
thing the doctor asks is "How are you?"
   How about the guy who drives up in a bright,
shiny car with the purchase sticker still on the
window who is greeted with questions such as
"Is that car new" or "is that yours?"
    How about the boss who sees you come in
10 minutes after your starting time and asks
 "You're late, aren't you?"
    Still those in the media usually get the Stupid
Question Award.
    You see them at the scene of a fire, usually the
 "Cub reporter" approaches the home owner and
 asks "How are you doing?" I'm surprised more
 haven't been answered with a slap upside the
    Of course there's also the "hopeful reporter"
 who asks the alleged killer "Did you do it?"
 They're hoping for a stupid answer such as
 "Sure I did and I wanted you to be the first
 to know."
    In any case today all bets are off! You can
ask anything you want. In fact it is suppose
to be stupid! So ask away!
    Hope you get a sensible answer and that
all your NEWS is good!

(Stupid is as stupid does: Forest Gump)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Don't Look Back!

  It was Baseball pitcher Satchel Paige who said it.
  "Don't look back. Somebody may be gaining on
  His quote was locked in my mind for a time
   The brilliant sunshine and colorful leaves
prompted my wife and I to put the top down in
the Miata and head out on the road to enjoy the
   We had no special destination in mind and, in
fact, made sure we hit a lot of back roads on our
trip to....who knows where?
    After a pleasant drive to the Ricket's Glen area
we turned south towards Shickshinny. After you
cross the river there into Mocanqua there's a road
that runs right along the Susquehanna into the
Wapwallopen area. It's a narrow, winding road
just perfect for a little Sports car on a sunny day.
    Unless, of course, there's a car right behind
you. And especially if that car happens to be a
State Police cruiser! I thought all those guys
were chasing that murder suspect in Monroe or
Pike County.
    Apparently they've left a few behind for other
    The speed limit along that stretch of rural
road is 25 miles-per-hour. My speedometer
read about 35 and I kept getting the feeling
the trooper really wanted me to speed up.
    If I had I'm sure he would have been happy.
    Either to give me a ticket, or to allow him
to move faster too!
    I hadn't planned on buying apples. But
when an entrance to Heller's Orchards
presented itself......I took it.......and was
pleased to see the cruiser go right on by.
    I believe he really sped up!
    For just a second I considered getting
behind him to see if a Citizen's arrest might
be in order.
    Instead I just bought some apples then
drove off to Nescopeck to our favorite
ice cream stand. It was good to see no one
had followed me there!
   By the way my "Cruiser in the mirror
photo is from the web. I didn't think it
would be wise to actually try to click a
picture of the officer behind me!
   Hope you're sticking to the speed limit
and that all of your NEWS is good!

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Favorite Fall Foliage!

   All eyes are on the trees around here these
days! The colors of Autumn are beginning
to show up and both locals and tourists will
be taking them in as long as they last.
   I'm in a similar position.
   I started looking for color on my favorite
tree a few weeks ago and I'm happy to report
I found It. It's green. And it's right across the
   I suppose some might ask what's so special
about green. It would be a fair question.
   My answer lies in the fact I'm not looking
at leaves. I'm looking a Pears!
    Several years ago our neighbor planted
what he thought was a shade tree in his back
yard. What he got was a Pear tree.
    It might provide some shade. It certainly
provides a lot of pears! They're usually
about ready for harvest about the time all
the other trees are turning red and orange.
    It's especially nice since our neighbor
doesn't like pears! I do! He told me I was
welcome to them. So I pick them. Two
pair at a time. (That's 4 pears).
    The tree is producing so much fruit that
some of the pears fall to the ground before
we can get to them.
     Then there are the biggest ones. They
always seem to be near the top of the tree.
I'd shake the branches. But I'm not sure I
could handle the fallout!
      I can't wait to see what the guy next
store plants next.
     Hope it produces more than shade..and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

   I saw it coming. Well, some of it anyway.
   We were headed to the movies the other
day when my wife looked at the grass and
said..."Looks like a little yard work is
    In most cases that would mean I'd
soon be running the mower over our patches
of grass within 24 hours.
    But her idea of a "little yard work" is a bit
like saying the Golden Gate Bridge needs a
coat of paint!
    Usually I have to be concerned about
mowing my way around all sorts of plants
and flowers I can't even pronounce.
     But yesterday was different!
     I was told we were "cutting things back"
and that meant clearing all those purple
flowers that formed a perimeter around our
yard. Of course the base of those flowers
was as hard as a small tree stump, challenging
both the lawn mower and the lawn mower
     It was like a day in those old cotton fields
"back home."
     I gave out by Noon. My wife put another
five hours into the effort. It had something to
so with her knowing what had to be done and
how to do it.
      I'm just afraid those flower stumps will
produce more of those purple things next
Spring and the whole thing will start all over
     Hope I didn't cut anything I wasn't
suppose to....and that all your NEWS is


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Read On

   I don't read as much now as I used to.
  Maybe it's because I write so much. My
daily Blog is probably a substitute for the
news stories I used to write everyday. Four
or more a day was not unusual.
   So, since those days in the newsroom
my reading usually involved some on line
articles from various news sources.
   Most of my dramas, comedies, or
biographies came from movies or TV.
   On our recent visit to Vinal Haven Island
in Maine, however, there were no movies
or TV, unless you counted a collection of
vintage dvd's, and no internet except for
that offered at the Library when I was
able to get there. As for cell phones, there
were a couple spots on the entire island
where you might get a signal.
    So it was that, prior to our trip, I
accepted my wife's offer to buy me a
book as we visited Barns & Noble.
    The store seemed to have more books
than I remember seeing at the Library
back in my old home town "back in the
     I've always heard it said "you can't
judge a book by its cover." But, not
wishing to spend a day reading the
jacket descriptions on a thousand
volumes, I pretty much looked around
for a cover or title that grabbed my
     There was a new publication on
the Titanic. I picked it immediately
even with a certainty I knew how the
story would end. But that was more of
an effort to add to my growing
collection of books on the famous sea
     Another, with photos of two famous
Americans on the cover, did grab my
attention. And the title, "Lindbergh vs.
Roosevelt," sparked my curiosity.
      We wrapped it up and hauled it
to the island with us where it filled in
all those "movie, internet, cell phone, and
TV-less hours" that  filled all those hours
between sleeping and eating your meals.
     We were there for three days. Just
enough to finish the book!
      Of course while shopping on the
island my wife found........a Book store!
      Guess I'll have to cut the power to
our house for a few days to see if I can
get through "Fly Boys!"
       Hope there's a Bookmark handy
around here and that all your NEWS is


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Name Game!

   In between our tours of Ireland and Scotland
and our vacation tour to Maine my wife and I
went to the movies. Well, sort of.
   We weren't in a theater and I didn't have my
usual bag of popcorn. But this was a big treat!
    My good friend Chris Fetchko has spent the
last few years turning a good story into a good
movie. He's not done yet. But he was close
enough to allow my wife and me to see a
"rough cut" version of the final product in his
home before it goes to a Sound Studio for some
final technical adjustments.
    I have a special interest in the movie because....
well...because I'm in it!
    It's my first film role since "The Fonz", Henry
Winkler, took a part I originally had in a movie
called "Hillers." As far as I know it was never
released. But I don't think that had anything to
do with him taking my part.
    The intended name for this new film, shot in
Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Lancaster, was
"Trust Me." 
    Production was well underway when somebody
else released a movie with that same title.
    After accepting suggestions from cast and crew
Chris has decided to rename his masterpiece........
"All In Time."
    As far as I know the final product is just about
complete and Winkler hasn't asked to take my part.
That means there's a good chance you'll get to see
me delivering my two or three lines somewhere
sometime soon....if you don't go out for popcorn
while I'm on screen!
    Until it's released either in theaters or TV, you
can find my photo and that of my on screen wife
in a small frame on a desk in the office of the
story's leading character. I'm the one that looks
like me.
    Hope you'll watch for "All In Time" and that
all your NEWS is good!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now?

      We spent our last evening on the road,
coming home, in Connecticut. Our trip to
Maine was great. Our travels were great.
Our hotels as we headed back were great.
      I wanted to call the family to tell them.
      That's when I discovered I didn't have
my cell phone!
      I knew I had it in my pocket on that
rocky Ferry Boat ride across Penobscot Bay.
      I thought I had it as we started back.
But when I looked on and around the seat
in my friend's truck it was nowhere to be
      You had to think.....was my phone and
my contact list now resting one to two
hundred feet under salt water surrounded
by Lobsters?
      I borrowed my wife's cell phone to call
the Ferry Boat Company. Perhaps a deck
hand spotted the old flip up phone. Or
perhaps I had dropped it inside the terminal.
     Since my wife almost never turns her
phone on, let along make calls with it, I
knew I'd have plenty of minutes to call
     Meanwhile my daughter, alerted through
a Facebook message, kept calling my number
in the event someone would hear the ring and
let us know where I had dropped it. I should
note at this point that we never expected a
Lobster to call us back!
      In fact no one answered and my calls to
the terminal yielded only a promise they'd
get in touch with me if my phone turned up!
     I was resolved to begin the effort to get
a new phone......not a Smart Phone.....just a
new, old type, flip phone.
     That's when my friend's wife activated
the electric seat upon which I had been
seated and discovered my phone, safely
resting on the floor well under the seat.
      It's good to know neither casual
traveler or any type of sea life would be
texting from my classic Samsung unit!
     Hope that hole in my jacket pocket
gets mended and that all your NEWS is

Friday, September 19, 2014



      We found ourselves sitting on the dock of
the bay yesterday.
   But we weren't watching the tide rolling
 away. We were watching the Lobster boats
 sail in to unload their catch!
    These are the folks that fill up those
 tanks you see at places like Red Lobster
 and Coopers in our area.
    After retrieving their traps they bring
 them in the Co-op where they're checked
 and sorted. They toss them into baskets
 like they're gathering apples!
    You keep getting the feeling you'd like
 to offer your help and, perhaps, toss one
 or two on the side for yourself! By the
 way they've already got the rubber bands on
 their claws so you're pretty sure you can
 keep your fingers!
    Then, just aout the time, you're amazed
 by the Lobster take, you spot something
 else in the water.
    Having just returned from Loch Ness
 all kinds of thoughts crossed our mind.
 Could it be a Sea Monster?
    You could easily see why some people
 might think so. But a closer look reveled
 the critters were seals. They probably
 followed the boats coming into the dock.
    Boats, Lobsters, Seals. It's amazing what
 you can see while you're sitting on the dock
 of the bay.......If you take the time to look!
    Hope you keep looking closely and that
 all your news is good! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014


  We're spending a few days with friends on
Vinal Haven Island off the coast of Maine.
   We haven't left civilization...exactly.
   You can only get here by Boat or by
 hitching a ride with the Mail plane that
 flies over each day. I guess you could,
 technically, mail yourself here
   We loaded our truck on a Ferry Boat
 that makes the hour and fifteen minute
 cruise across the bay,
    There have been some improvements
 since our last visit. Cell phones can
 now be used on a couple places on the
 island. Of course finding those spots is
 a little like searching for gold.
    There's a Grocery store. Just one.
    There's a Pizza place and a pub where
 you can get pizza when the Pizza place
 is closed.
     It's very quiet. Just the sound of a
 Lobster Boat coming by from time to
 time or that mail plane flying over.
    As far as entertainment is concerned,
 if your coming, bring a book and hiking
 shoes. You either walk or read.
    The other alternative, one favored
 by most of us, is napping. Rest comes
 easy here whether you're planning it
 or not. You can usually hear a pin drop.
 But most folks are careful not to drop a
 pin or anything else.
    There is beauty all around so the
 atmosphere lends itself towards
    Want a movie? Bring a DVD!
    I'm finding that resting makes you
    I'm not sure I'll have enough energy to
 make it back home!
    Hope you've got a restful spot too and
 that all your news is good.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Map Math

           THURSDAY, SEPT 18TH

                  MAP MATH
      I felt like I was in a Junior High School
  Math class! Remember those problems that
  begin with..."Joe was on a train heading to
  New York going 50 miles per hour . You
  know the kind!
      Well there I was, riding shotgun with
  my buddy as we drove towards our
  destination in the state of Maine.
      His high tech GPS system selected a
  route, then produced a readout with
  projected our arrival 5 hours later.
      Our wives, carefully consulting what
  many of you may remember as "maps,"
  disagreed with both the routes and
  expected arrival time.
      They wanted us on superhighways while
 the GPS did not. It kept insisting that we
 take various exits!
       That contradiction, we learned, was
  caused by a setting in the electronic brain
  that intentionally avoided toll roads.
       We readjusted the unit and were well
  on our way.
       But even when the new route put us
  on back roads our arrival time continued
  to drop. that was to be expected since the
  new route was either shorter or faster.
       I understand that concept. But when
  my friend slowed down to 50, I noticed
  we suddenly cut a minute from our time.
     Two miles later we had cut three
  minutes. How do you do that without
  going at least twice the speed limit?
     As I questioned the reading we cut
  another two minutes.
     I began to discuss the situation when
 our arrival time readout showed another
 three minutes off the clock.
     kept up long enough, according to my
 calculations, we would be there long
 before we actually arrived!
    Maybe time travel is possible...at least
 in my buddy's vehicle.
    Hope you don't show up before you get
 somewhere and that all your NEWS is

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Famous Last Words.


   Well as many of you now by now I am
noting another Birthday today. My age is
now equal to room temperature.
    On the eve of this occasion I spent part
of another day in Salem where I came
across some stones bearing the inscriptions
of famous last words.
    I wondered if I should ponder some
serious thoughts as I left behind another
year and leave some words of wisdom
    Of course the quotations I was reading
truly were the "last words" of some 20
individuals about to be executed for
     I, on the other hand, was merely turning
the page from one year to another.
     But maybe I could learn from these brave
individuals who stuck to their beliefs in the
face of death. All they had to do was admit
to being witches and they'd likely go free.
     They chose death before dishonor.
      Were I in a similar situation I think I
might have done a card trick! Of maybe
pulled a quarter from behind the Judge's
ear. They probably would have let me go!
      Anyhow, as I eat cake (or whatever
I'm getting) and celebrate my new age,
I think I'll simply say "Boy it's nice to be
congratulated rather then remembered."
      Hope we all have a good day and that
all our NEWS is good."


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Graveyard Shift!


   We've been home from our Ireland/Scotland trip
for a week now. That's long enough! Time to get
moving again!
    So, my wife and I and two good friends set out
on a road trip.
    First stop.....Salem, Mass!
    Salem, as many of you know, is commonly
associated with Witches! And, as Halloween
gets closer, more and more witches or would-be
witches show up around these parts.
    By October 31st there will be so many in town
that it will be hard to tell which witch is which!
    But while tourists, actors, and those who
really believe they're witches show up for what
amounts to a big Halloween party, the real tragic
story of what happened here in the 1600's is told
in dramatic fashion in a small yard just next to,
but walled off from, the town's oldest cemetery.
     The yard is enclosed by a stone wall. At first
glance you'll notice what seem to be small stones,
almost like seats, sticking out from the wall.
      A closer examination revels the names of
former Salem area residents......and the dates they
were hanged or, in one case, crushed to death by
      Each represents someone executed as a witch.
      They're not actually graves. No one was ever
told where their bodies were buried because, of
course, they were considered witches!
      They were accused by a handful of young
girls from the town who might have caused
hundreds to be executed until they made the
mistake of accusing the Governor's wife!
       That's when the Salem Witch Trials ended
and a new principal of American Law......
Innocent Until Proven Guilty....came into effect!
        So, Salem is a great place for a history
lesson....or.....a great place to have your fortune
told or palm read....especially in these weeks
leading up to Halloween!
        I've seen just one witch so far. But, who
knows, the next one may be right around the
        Hope she looks like Elizabeth Montgomery
on Bewitched and that all your NEWS is good!


The Family That Plays Together...

\  One of my grand daughters and I have
September Birthdays, just 4 days apart.
    Together we have 85 years! I have
most of them.
    Yesterday we celebrated together
in the company of many of our family
    It was my niece's idea. She suggested
we get as many family members together
as possible at Knoebel's Amusement
Park. She booked a pavilion there and
everybody brought food.
    Some folks had other commitments
and couldn't make it. It would seem we
brought food for them anyway!
    My niece also brought her son and his
girl who just happen to excel over a grill!
    What a fantastic day!
     Family, food, and fun.
     Each of the kids got wrist bands so they
could ride all the rides they wanted. That
was not one of my presents...a fact for
which I am very grateful since I'm more
more of a ride watcher than a ride rider!
      I enjoyed taking pictures of all the
happenings although I will admit this
Birthday celebration came with one of
it's own "Senior moments." It was, by
the way, a moment for me, not my
grand daughter.
      I was about to get out my trusty
camera to snap a few shots when I
suddenly wondered where I had left my
glasses. I reached into my pocket where
I felt the glass case. A split second later
I realized I was wearing my glasses. Guess
that happens when you're part of 85
collective years!
      Any way it was a great day and my
real Birthday is still two days away! Can't
wait to see what happens then...IF I can
find my glasses!
      Hope you take time for Family time,
and that all your NEWS is good!