Friday, October 31, 2014

On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever!

   What an exciting day!
   It's Halloween. It's Frankenstein
Friday. And, it's Increase Your
Psychic Power Day!
   But then, you psychics must
have already know all that.
   Psychic Day seems to
have originated in England back
in the 19th century. Some sites
list it on October 30th. Most
associate it with Halloween.
   It's a day to work on those
psychic powers.
   Flip a coin and predict
whether it will be heads or tails.
   When the phone rings, identify
the caller before you pick up the
receiver. If you're right,or
consistent with those coin calls,
you may be psychic.
     I think I may be Psychic.
My wife says I'm partially right.
She says I'm just spelling it wrong.
In my case, she says, there's an "o"
in the word.
     I think I know what she is trying
to say. That would make me
right. Right?
     OK. Let's give it a try!
     I see children in your future,
knocking at your door, asking for
something. I see you doing something
with your clocks this weekend. I see
the weather getting colder.
     It's amazing! All this psychic
ability and I haven't been able to pick
the Lottery numbers.
     Hope you can...and that all your
NEWS is good!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Haunt in your House!

   Halloween is still a day away. But you don't have to wait
for a good scare!
   You may have a chill in store observe a
bizarre "holiday" that's scheduled for this pre-Halloween Eve!
   So you're thinking "Mischief Night". right?
   The chill tonight will be coming from something lurking
right in your own house! It may be behind you as you read
this essay!
    You see October 30th is "Haunted Refrigerator Night!"
     Ruth and Thomas Roy came up with this unusual
     They suggest there's no need to go out to one of those
"Haunted Houses" when you could have the scare of a
lifetime waiting right there in your Fridge or Freezer!
      You may or may not have been keeping your
refrigerator closed just in case there's a power outage
in your neighborhood.
      But even if you occasionally reach in for a snack or
a beverage there's a good chance it's been quite awhile
since you really checked all of the items buried inside
that cold vault!
      So here's the plan.
      Turn out the lights.  Perhaps a couple of candles
 would be appropriate.
      Gather around your refrigerator this night…open the door
slowly and take in a deep breath…slowly move things around
and see what is lurking in that container or box buried in there!
      With a little luck you're discover a forgotten treat that's
been safely maintained in its cold surroundings.
       Of course there's also the chance you may be growing
your own penicillin on some leftover that's been forgotten
far too long ago. And that, my friends, is SCARY!
       Either way this is a great setting (and excuse) for a
Haunted Refrigerator Party!
       And mark the date on your calender for next year so
you don't miss it!
       Hope that little light inside is working and that all
your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"I never"

    Halloween is still two days away. But
today, October 29th, is "National Dracula
Bites Day!"
     I never heard of it before. But gone-ta- claims it's celebrated every year
on this date! Possibly since 1931 when the
classic movie Dracula was produced by
Universal Pictures. In fact the "holiday"
may have been created to promote the
     I saw the movie when it was re-released
sometime in the 1940's.
     Sometime after that my Dad, who was
a movie projectionist, brought the star,
Bela Lugosi, to our house. He was making
stage appearances around the country and
came to Hazleton for one of them.
      I have no idea if it was October 29th.
I never saw the guy! I was hiding in my
room. I was probably searching for two
sticks I could hold together in the form of
a cross. As far as I was concerned Dad had
brought Dracula to our home!
       Though it is described as a "National
holiday" there is no record of the
bloodsuckers......I mean.....politicians....
actually creating legislation for this day.
    According to the website the day is an
opportunity to learn all about the history
of Dracula and to have fun with the
spooky character.
    If we're talking about the movie
character that history only covers 83 years.
    If we're talking about the Romanian
Prince, "Vlad the Impaler," we've got to study
back to the 15th century!  I just can't sink
my teeth into that!
     You'll just have to "reflect" on that one!
     Hope you've had your Garlic, and that
all your NEWS is good.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Day At Girl Scout Camp!

   We just couldn't resist. The sun was shining.
The temperature was in the low 60's. So....the
Miata top came down and my wife and I set
out for another adventure to parts unknown.
   As is quite often the case we left with a
general direction rather than a specific
destination in mind.
    Yesterday though, we found ourselves on
a back road seldom traveled. At least by us.
    Since my wife often has a problem telling
right from left I admit I was shocked when,
while driving up a steep mountain road, she
asked if we were near Camp Louise.
     I had no idea if we were or not since, as
far as I could remember, I had never been to
the place.
     But only moments after she asked the
question....there is was! A small sign for the
popular Girl Scout Camp where my wife and
kids had stayed a whole lot of years ago.
     Next question. Could we go in to take a
look around?
     The answer took the Miata down a windy,
dirt and gravel road which, for a time, I
feared would never end.
     It did eventually end a field
of memories for my wife.
     The camp was very much as she remembered
it although some new facilities have been
added over those years.
     It seemed a bit strange to see the empty
tents and fireless fireplaces waiting for kids
with all the fixings for their smores!
     There were no canoes on the pond and the
swimming pool was empty.
     The camp seemed to be resting. Just
waiting for the next batch of Girl Scouts
showing up for a camping adventure sure
to build character and make memories.
     Hope you've got a stick for hot dogs
stored away somewhere ..and that all your
NEWS is good!    

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's In The Trunk?

   Trick or Treating, we used to call in
"Halloweening," is not what it used to
    When I was a kid we dressed up,
went door to door, sang a song or told
a joke, then hoped for either a Hershey
Bar or a quarter. The quarters were the
treat of choice since you could always
buy a Hershey Bar!
     We never had to worry about a
tainted "treat" or being mistreated by
someone along the way.
     Unfortunately that innocence was
lost somewhere along the way.
     There are still plenty of safe
neighborhoods these days and it's
always safer to have the parents escorting
the kids nowadays. We pretty much used
to head out on our own.
     Anyway, there are also great options
these days that assure safe Halloween fun
and a bag full of goodies.
     Yesterday one such option was offered
by the Plains Township Lions Club in our
     It's called "Trick or Trunk."  A lot of
good people from our town loaded their
car trunks and pickup beds with treats
and gathered at the community park to
welcome hundreds of kids in their
Halloween costumes!
     Most of the adults were in costume too!
     It's hard to tell which group was having
more fun!
     The kids, of course, will get another
crack at filling their bags again on
Halloween evening. But it was really nice
to see the community coming together to
support this fun and safe event!
      Judging from the "take" I suspect
local Dentists will be pleased too!
      Hope you're ready for October
31st and that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry!

    My wife, grand daughter, and I went
to the movies yesterday.
    It was truly a sad movie. The feature
was sad too! Oh, you thought I meant
the feature in the first place!
    No. In this case I was referring to the
movie........ theater.
    We had traveled to Scranton to the
Marquee Cinema. It's technically part
of, through across the street from, the
Mall at Steamtown.
    There was no one in the Ticket Booth.
But a sign there indicated you could get
your tickets at the Concession Stand.
    That simple transaction was delayed
when the computer used to issue the
tickets froze. Sad.
     The auditorium screening our
feature was empty! It probably seats
about 300 people or so. But we were
the only three inside. Very sad to see.
     That may have been because it was
a nice day outside or because the movie
we picked had already been playing for
weeks and everybody else who wanted
to see it had already done so.
     The place was very neat and clean.
But the sound faded down from time to
time and the picture grew dark now and
then too. That was sad as well.
     I remember attending the grand
opening of these theaters a few years
back. It was hoped they'd help bring
life back to the downtown area,
especially as more and more college
housing became available there.
     Now it seems the very future of
the theater is in doubt. And that's very
     It still looks good. It's in a good
location. And the popcorn tasted
pretty good to me!
     Hope there's a happy ending down
the road for this movie story....and that
all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Let The Sunshine In!

 There are many different ways to recognize
  For some it's leaves changing color. Others
will tell you it's the Geese flying South and
the first touch of frost.
  At our house it's my wife's decision that
the plastic covers must be installed over the
porch screens!
  Throughout the Spring and Summer these
large sheets of plastic, sealed in frames, are
safely stored away while the breezes of those
seasons are welcomed on our porch.
   There's already been a few days, however,
when that breeze was not so welcome!
    So, yesterday, my wife pulled out two
pair of work gloves. One was for me. How
    Within an hour the plastic was in place
and, with the sun shining brightly, our porch
became a Greenhouse!
     By the time the sun set the porch
temperature had settled down a bit to about
78 degrees!
    We lost a breezeway, but gained a Sauna!
Should be pleasant to spend some afternoons
there. At least till the sun gets low and the
snow gets high!
     Hope we saved some sun screen....and
that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, October 24, 2014

And You Don't Mess Around With Jim!

       Jim Croce  had a big hit with the song
"You don't mess around with Jim."
      But it was sweet music to some folks
in our area when a  "Chief," who isn't a
native American, echoed those words
     I refer to "Chief Judge" Theodore McKee
of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who
said it would be "patently absurd" to disinter
the remains of the great Olympic athelete
Jim Thorpe and move them to Oklahoma.
    When he died in 1953, Thorpe's third
wife, Patricia, entered into an agreement
with what were the towns of Mauch Chunk
and East Mauch Chunk, to have Thorpe
interred there even though he had never
actually been to the area. In return, the
towns legally changed their name to Jim
     Recently the Federal Court in Scranton
sided with the children of Thorpe's second wife
who wanted his body dug up and moved to
Indian territory in Oklahoma.
     Jim Thorpe had three wives during his
life. Descendants of his first are content to
have the remains...remain where they are.
Two out of his three families are OK with
Jim Thorpe staying in Jim Thorpe!
    This latest court ruling is good with that
too.  So am I!
     The community has become a major
area tourist destination and many of
those tourists stop to pay tribute to the
man the King of Sweden called "the
greatest athlete in the world."
      His monument has become the
recognized shrine to the man and his
     The lawsuit made it the center of
the country's latest Indian war. Thanks
to yesterday's court decision it looks
like the community won the battle!
    And, by the way, isn't this resting place
about as "native American" as you can get?
The original name, Mac Chunk, was
derived from the term "bear mountain" in the
language of the native Lenape people!
     As Jim Croce sang...."You don't mess
around with Jim."
     Hope Jim Thorpe stays in Jim Thorpe and
that all your NEWS is good!


Jim Thorpe

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tracking A Memory

    I was leaving a doctor's office yesterday
when I heard the unmistakable sound of a
train rolling nearby. I've liked that sound
every since I was a kid.
   My Mom and Dad used to take me with
them when they visited friends who had a
cottage along the banks of the Susquehanna
in Wapwallopen. In the evening I could hear
the sound of a Steam Locomotive off in the
distance as it got closer and closer to the
section of tracks just across the road from
the cottage.
    Then came that single bright light,
especially impressive coming out of the
darkness, as the train roared by us.
    But it wasn't the sound of the engine
or the light that brought back those memories
    It was the Caboose!
    Yes! A little red caboose was rolling
along at the end of that freight!
    They used to be a regular feature on all
the freight trains. And, back in the day, there
was usually a railroad worker sitting by the
window. I don't know if waving to the people,
especially the kids, was actually a part of
their job description. But they always did!
     Surprisingly the worker I saw yesterday
was actually riding outside on some sort of
"work car" just ahead of the caboose.
      The caboose began to disappear back
in the 1980's when Federal Safety Laws
for railroads were relaxed.
      I wasn't happy to see them go! In fact
I decided a key part of my agenda,  if I
decided to run for President, would be a
call (maybe an Executive Order) to return
the caboose to all freight trains. That alone
would probably get me elected!
     I know yesterday's vision was just an
exception to today's "norm." Probably some
sort of rail repair project that required a full
     Still, it was really great to see that "old
friend" back on the rails again!
     Hope everythings' "on track" with you
and that all your NEWS is good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Spitting Image!

  We've all been warned about the
consequences of "spitting into the
   My wife doesn't spit at all.
   But that changed yesterday!
   No! She didn't have a "Chaw."
   A family friend or, perhaps, a
family relative convinced her
to take a DNA test! The outcome
should determine if the friend is
a relative!
    She's working on family history
and discovered a link between my
wife's great grandmother and her
great grandmother!
    Her initial research has turned
up German, Irish, and Scottish
heritage in the family line.
   There's even, get this, a French
connection! Maybe even some
Jewish heritage.
    To see how and if my wife fits
in she had to spit into a cup so her
DNA can be tested at a laboratory!
    I'm anxious to see the results when
they're ready!
    We passed a lot of Castles on our
recent tour through Ireland and
Scotland. Now I'm wondering if one
of them might belong to her family!
Maybe we're forgotten heirs! And,
if we are, maybe we can remind
somebody that we're here!
    Maybe we can learn all about my
wife's long lost family members. I
wonder if any of them are...a spitting
image.....of my wife?
    Hope their keeping our Castle
clean......and that all your NEWS
is good!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


    There have been some great duos over
the years!
    Batman and Robin! The Lone Ranger
and Tonto! Sonny and Cher. Frankie and
    And then there was Frankie and Davy!
    For many years Frank Andrews was
a competitor. He anchored at WNEP TV
while I, as most of your know, was a
reporter with WYOU.
     Suddenly, one day, Frank not only
joined the Channel 22 Team. He became
the News Director! He went from my
competitor to my boss!
     Surprisingly we seemed to be a good
duo! I think it was, in part, because of
our similar sense of humor. Our morning
telephone calls often sounded like a Laurel
and Hardy skit. He's the only person who
ever called me "Davy." (I think he was
a fan of the Monkees!)
     Still when it came to news, he knew I
knew my territory and pretty much gave me
free rein to go out there and work my news
     What really impressed me, however,was
his willingness to welcome some "good news
stories" when I came up with them. The old
saying "If it bleeds, it leads" is pretty much
the truth. Trying to find time for something
other than murders robberies, and other
violent crimes was like asking the boss for
a raise! He didn't give me a raise, but he did
welcome those other stories!
     Yesterday Frank found himself working
with me again on my weekly ECTV Live
television program. He was a guest and
joined me to promote the upcoming
Veteran's Walk/Run which will be held on
November 1st. That's a pretty darn good
news story!
     The program will begin airing next
week on Comcast Ch 19 in Scranton and
Wyoming Valley.
     Thanks for joining me "Frankie!"
     Hope all your NEWS is good!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chillin With The Chiefs!

    I ran into the President yesterday. And
a Roman Centurion. There was an Indian
Chief too. And a few other characters I
can't really identify.
    Who knew they'd all be at the same
place on the same day?
     That place was Country Junction, near
Lehighton. The business describes itself
as the country's "Biggest General Store."
      There are a million things on sale
there. Everything from peanuts and pets
to furniture and hardware.
      And then there are the statues!
Life sized mannequins of characters
like President Obama and Chief....ah....
well...I'm not exactly sure what chief.
       I'm also not quite sure how many
shoppers are actually looking for a
statue of the President or any of the
others I've mentioned. Or seen.
       But, if you want to get something
for that person who has everything, these
statues may just do the trick.
        Or perhaps you live in a high
crime area and could benefit from the
image of a Western Gun Slinger
standing on your front porch!
         You'll probably need a pick up
truck to get any of them home.
          Come to think of it you'll likely
need a pick up truck full of money to
buy one anyway.
          Think I'll just stop by to visit
them from time to time!
          Hope you'll stick with the Pink
Flamingos and that all your NEWS
is good!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The DeCosmo Roast

   No! There was no dinner at which
dignitaries took turns poking fun at
me. But my wife was there. She's
capable of handling that kind of
humor all by herself.
    In this case the roast was a real
one. You know. The kind with
meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions.
    The occasion, however, was a
very rare one for us. A stay at home
    After a morning walk I found
myself facing a cloudy day with
chance of showers and not one
single soccer game on the agenda!
    My wife had purchased a roast
a week or two ago for just such a
    I watched as she prepared all
the ingredients. delayed only
slightly by the need to clean the
pan I used to fry some eggs earlier
in the day. She even allowed me to
have one of those unique treats
enjoyed by me...but few others...a
raw potato.
    Just a few hours later it was
ready to be enjoyed. Unlike our
pizzas, you determine when a roast
is ready by sticking a thermometer
into the meat, not by the sound of
our smoke alarm!
    We may have to stay home a little
more often!
     Hope that fry plan cleans up...and
that all your NEWS is good.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Sweetest Day!

    Break out the Hershey Bars everybody! It's
the third Saturday in October and that means
it's "The Sweetest Day." I never heard of it
before....... in spite of it's well documented
    According to the Holiday Insights web page
Herbert Birch Kingston, a Cleveland, Ohio
philanthropist and candy company employee started
Sweetest Day. He wanted to bring happiness to
orphans, shut-ins and under-privileged. His intent
was to show these people that they were not
forgotten. I suppose the thought of selling more
candy never entered his mind.
    He started this "holiday in 1922 by giving candy
and small gifts. Dentists must have loved this guy!
    The day still exists as an opportunity for you to
recognize someone special and sweet! It doesn’t matter
who that person is, or what their relation to you. They
just have to be "sweet." 
    I supposed a lot of you will be looking for my
address about now. If I'm out just leave all the
goodies on the front porch! Whatever I can't eat
can be held over for Halloween!
    Hope you enjoy something sweet today and that
all your NEWS is good.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Little House On The......River!

  My wife and I took advantage of yesterday's
mostly sunny day and headed out in the Miata
   The challenge we usually face is....which
way should we go? And somewhere "back in
time" is usually a tempting choice! So we set
out to find a house that belonged to an old
   Back in the day I had a friend whose family
lived in a heavily wooded area right along the
Delaware River.
   Their live style was much different than the
one I was used to!
   Their beautiful, semi isolated, home had no
telephone and no television. Visits there were
often spent listening to music from Broadway
musicals on the family record player.
    On two occasions I found myself forced
to spend the night. Evening fog from the
river enveloped the small windy back road
near their home like something out of a
Steven King novel! You don't drive in
a Steven King fog!!!!!!
    At one point the family decided to
enlarge their home and built on a full room
which came to be know as "the Little House."
     I helped gather rocks, large heavy rocks,
for the fireplace there.
     I remember my friend's father's Pontiac
looking like a Low Rider about to spring
forward as those rocks were loaded in the
trunk for transport. I often wondered how
long those springs actually lasted.
     The sight of the place brought back a
lot of very nice memories of an easier
time when I was still infected with youth.
     Sadly the family is gone now, the last
remaining sibling is married and moved
away. I'm told, however, the home is still
in the family although no one was around
when we made our unexpected visit.
     Sight unseen I'd wager the occupants
probably have both telephone and TV these
days. If so I'm not sure that's an improvement!
     Hope they're still listening to the music
and that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Cliff Hanger!

   When I was a kid you could usually find
me at any one of several neighborhood
theaters on most any Saturday.
    It didn't matter what was playing
although a Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or
Bowery Boys movie was probably on the
    It was the weekly Chapters or Serials
that kept me coming back!
    Screen heroes like Superman, Batman,
and Rocket Man, aka Commando Cody,
would fight the bag guys in a 12
minute episode that would end as a
"Cliff Hanger." Each week somebody.
usually the hero, would end up in a life
or death situation. You had to come
back the next week to see how that
situation ended.
    The Cliff Hangers were on my
mind yesterday as my wife and I went
to Cinemark to see a movie.
    There was a hint of what was to come
when we walked into the theater and
"heard" the previews of coming
attractions. The screen was blank!
But audio from the previews was coming
through the surround sound speakers.
    These days there's no one actually in
those Projection Booths so it's up to the      
audience to let someone know there's a
problem. Three or four of us left our
seats to spread the word.
     Back in the days of film my Dad
would have spotted a problem right
away and fixed it within 5 minutes!
      After a few minutes someone from
the staff came into the auditorium to let
us know a technician was "rebooting the
system" and that all would be well shortly.
       He returned about 15 minutes later as
the lights were dimming and asked if anyone
wanted to see the previews. I don't know if
there was an actual vote. But the Feature
apparently won as it began shortly thereafter.
       All was well until, during an important
scene towards the end of the movie, the
screen went dark and the lights came up!
        For a second I felt myself back in
my neighborhood theater, planning next
week's return visit to see how the story
       This time though, I only had to wait
about ten minutes! The technician must
have been close by!
        Even though the disruptions were only
temporary the nice folks at Cinemark
rewarded the customer's patience with a
free pass to another movie!
        I really like how this Cliff Hanger
        Hope your endings are happy and
that all your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

National Grouch Day!

    It's October 15th. A day set aside
to honor......well maybe not honor,
but at least take note of an individual
or individuals we all know and.........
well......we all know.
   This is National Grouch Day!
   Judging from the posts I see on
Facebook every day a lot of people
will be celebrating!
    A Grouch's mission in life is to be
as miserable and grouchy as possible,
and pass that feeling on to everyone else!
     I'm not sure if the trait has to be learned
or just comes natural to some folks. I do
know a few people who seem to work very
hard to maintain their "Grouch status!"
    According to one website the day was
created for and inspired by Alan Miller, a
retired teacher and chairman of the board
of NAG, (National Association of Grouches).
    I don't know how we're suppose
to celebrate this day. Maybe we just
congratulate the grouches we know?
    Of course you'll want to be careful if
one happens to be your boss!
     Hope no one congratulates you....and
that all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Breaking Camp

  I read an interesting article written
by a Travel writer for Yahoo yesterday.
  She wrote of having traveled some
300 miles to pick up a vintage travel
trailer she saw advertised on Craig's
   It brought back a lot of memories.
The unit she bought was a 15 foot
Scotty Camper nearly identical to the
one my wife and I used while our kids
were growing up.
   We bought it because we needed a
"bigger" camper having started out with
a 13 foot Scotty.
    I remember the first time we actually
towed our camper on a trip. I believe I
actually spoke a couple bad words after
trying to back it into a space at a camp
ground in New England. I was probably
ready to sell it that same day until, after
finally getting it in place, some other
campers came over to welcome us and
invite us to an evening dinner.
     We took my Dad and our three kids
with us from Maine to Florida in that
Scotty. It was good time spent together.
     As the years rolled on and gas prices
went up we decided to give up towing,
but not camping.
     We bought a used, and much bigger
camper that we kept on a lot at Lake
Wallenpaupack for several years.
     That campground eventually closed
to make way for Condos which, by the
way, were never built. It's sad to see our
old site overgrown and unused these
      But the closing of that door opened
another opportunity near another small
lake which became our camping home
away from home for another ten years
or so.
     Over the past few years we found
ourselves spending less and less time
at our getaway and more and more time
hosting tours both in and outside the
country. They came with some great
hotels with things campers don't provide.
     Things like maid and room service,
full bathrooms and large beds. Even
cable TV and Wifi.
       So it is that, as of the end of this
season, we're breaking camp for good.
We've sold our camper and packed up
everything, including the fire ring which
has been relocated to my daughter's back
     We'll share the marsh mellows and
memories there from now on, in between
the Hiltons and Raddisons.
      Hope your tent is warm and that all
your NEWS is good!