Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Time" To Celebrate

   It's the last day of 2014! That's
hard to believe! I thought it was
just half past October!
    Lots of folks will be getting
together to welcome in 2015 at
    Thousands will be in New
York's Time Square. Many with
gather on Courthouse Square in
Scranton. There will even be a big
crowd in Shamokin where they'll
drop a large lump of coal then
light up the sky with fireworks!
    You're not likely to find us in
those crowds, For the past few
years we have welcomed the New
Year on Thailand time!
   This allows us to yell "Happy
New Year" at Noon! And that
allows us to either get to bed on time
or, at least, relax at home while we
watch the revelers on Rocking New
Year's Eve on television.
    Using this system you can celebrate
when you want to! Should you miss
Noon you have 11 more time zones to
catch up!
    Stay up till 7pm and you can welcome
2015 with folks in England! Make it
10pm and you can revel with the people
in Brazil.
     Hope you have a Happy New Year
whenever your choose to celebrate and
that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last Chance!

   OK. Look. I know New Year's Eve and
New Year's Day are big deals! I also realize
some of you are still enjoying your Christmas
holiday as the new year is about to begin.
   But I'm here today to make a case for another
one of those "unofficial holidays" that gets far
too little recognition.
   And it's today!!!!!!
   December 30th, just in case you didn't know,
is the.........."Festival Of Enormous Changes At
The Last Minute!"
   While that may be a mouthful and a bit big for
a Tee Shirt, this holiday seems to be for those
who think New Year's resolutions are supposed
to be put into action two days before the New
Year actually begins. That, of course, would give
you a head start on some of those well intentioned
changes you'd like to make for your life in 2013.
    You know. Things like getting more exercise,
losing a few pounds, perhaps making sure you're
always on time for appointments
     I'm beginning to understand why this "holiday"
may not be the most popular!
     But it is, after all, a "Festival Day" so if you're
celebrating by starting your diet or exercise program
today....more power to you!
     Most of us, however, will be just over here
enjoying our last gym-free, fatty food eating days.
     Hope it all works out for you and that all your
NEWS is good!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Is It WARM Enough For You?

   That question..."Is it warm enough for
you?"...used to be used as a promotion for
for the popular radio station bearing those
call letters.
    But it brings to mind some questions
about temperatures and how be adapt to
    We enjoyed the warmest Christmas
in many years. Still, there were those
who complained. For some it was too
warm. They wanted snow. Visitors who
came home from Florida for the holiday
wanted the thermometer to keep climbing!
     Of course most spent Christmas inside
somewhere.......likely in "room temperature!"
     The day after found the sun shining and
the temperature around 50 degrees. Not a
bad day to be outside.
      So, naturally-or not, some of my gang
decided to join a hundred or so other people
who put on warm socks, jackets, and
mittens and headed for the Ice Rink where
32 degrees keeps the skaters sliding around
if not always standing up!
      I sat on the bleachers to watch the action
and quickly discovered that aluminum does
not a warm bottom make! I would have
tried skating too. But I often have trouble
standing up on my daily walks...without
     Fortunately a quick look around reveled
the Skating Rink's most valuable accessory...    
an outer lounge complete with fireplace!
     Whether it's one of those, a furnace or
even a space heater, it's nice to know there's
comfort nearby what ever the outside
      Hope it's only warm for you and that all
of your NEWS is good!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Party Hard!

  I'm sure we'll all been at a wild party or
two back in the day.
  Last night my wife and I saw people hit
each other with sticks, swords, and other
weapons at the party we were attending.
   At least two guys were repeatedly
kicked while several others had boards
broken over their heads!
   I took immediate action!
   I video taped the fighting!
   Oh..........maybe I should mention....this
was a Karate School Christmas Party and
all the students were doing a demonstration.
   My Grandson is a second degree Black
Belt and a student instructor at the school.
He broke a couple boards as well as some
concrete blocks.
    I've broken a few boards over the
years myself. Of course in my case I didn't
do it on purpose!
    It's amazing the work out these students
go through while demonstrating their
talents. They showed off so much energy
they got me tired!
    Hope I'm not bruised too.....and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"It Ain't Over Till It's Over!"

  We start thinking about Christmas,
whether we want to or not, sometime
around Halloween. That's when the
first advance store decorations begin
showing up.
   But with all that long buildup, the
day comes and, hours later it's over.
At least it seems that way.
   Actually the Christmas celebration
seems to grow each year and, as that
great philosopher Yogi Berra reminds
us, "It ain't over till it's over."
   Back in 1952 a small AM Radio
station in Lansford began the tradition
of broadcasting Christmas music from
Thanksgiving through "Russian Christmas"
on January 6th.
   I switched to my seldom used AM
option yesterday and, through the static,
heard the familiar strains of "Jingle Bells"
on the station's 1410 frequency.
  In Scranton the annual free performances
of "The Nutcracker Ballet" continue through
Sunday at Marywood University.
  The Christmas Displays will light up Nay
Aug Park in the Electric City through January
6th and Joe Spinelli opens his classic
Department store animated displays to the
public in his Newfoundland back yard
for another 10 days as well!
    In Columbia County Berwick's
traditional Christmas Boulevard will be
illuminated through New Year's Day.
   And, throughout the area, homeowners
who rival Clark Grizzwald will
undoubtedly be getting the most out of
their decorating efforts!
    There's plenty of Christmas left if you
just look for it!
     Hope you do....and that all of your
NEWS is good!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Here's a Tip! It's Boxing Day!

   Here's hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas!
   As I write my daily Blog the day before it's
published, my December 26th Blog would, of course,
be written on Christmas Day.
    I wanted to take the day off. But I can't ignore a
holiday that's observed by much of the world!
    It's "Boxing Day" and it's today!
    I had plenty of boxes yesterday and they were
scattered all over the place! But, as it turns out,
there's a little bit more to "Boxing Day."
    According to, Boxing Day
is celebrated in England, Australia, Canada, New
Zealand and other former British commonwealth
countries. It is a legal holiday in these countries.
    It stems from St. Stephan's Day, when churches
opened their collection boxes to the poor.
    Boxing Day was an expression of appreciation
and thanks, like Christmas tips are today.        
     So if you missed your chance to tip your paperboy,
favorite waitress, or just some Blogger you know do
it today with a wish for a "HappyBoxing Day!"
    I'll provide my address if you need it!
Hope you'll "celebrate" and that all yourNEWS is good!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Baker's Dozen!

    Everybody loves to get a Baker's Dozen!
You know. That one extra donut packed
into the box. Just a little extra enjoyment!
    Well my wife and I packed a Baker's
Dozen into our tiny living room last night.
It was our family's annual Christmas Eve
     After our three kids grew up and moved
out there were all too few times when we
would all get together at the same place at
the same time. That was especially true in
our mobile home where they all grew up.
    Of course when they were growing up
there was just 5 of us. Now that they've got
families of their own our ranks have grown
to........13.........yes........a Baker's Dozen!
    We could move the gathering to a larger
location. But it wouldn't be "home" on
Christmas Eve!
    My wife engineers the logistics and it
always works out! We're close. But families
are suppose to be close!
    We have a Christmas feast, exchange gifts,
and take a break as I read "The Polar Express"
to the grandkids.
     Today our paths may cross again as we
visit various homes on the Christmas Circuit.
     But to my wife and me there's something
very special about our Christmas Eve
gathering when our kids and their families
come HOME!
     And, by the way, the way we've got it
figured, there's room for one more!
      Hope they keep coming so that all our
NEWS is good! Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Back In The Saddle Again!

   I found myself "back in the saddle again"
last night! And it felt like being home.
   55 years ago, almost to the day, I made
my debut in local radio. I was an Errand
boy at WAZL in Hazleton.
   But on the night of the company
Christmas Party I got to sit at the Control
Board and run the musical programs the
DJ's had produced a day or so before.
   Then, at the top of the hour, I got to open
the microphone and give the Station ID.
"This is WAZL and WAZL FM, Hazleton
Pennsylvania." That short sentence was the
first time I got on the air. And, to me, it was
a dream come true. I always wanted to be
on the radio!
   Several years as a DJ followed, then radio
news, and then television. I'm still doing a
lot of TV although these days it's as a
volunteer. I never got paid much anyway!
   Last night I joined WILK Talk Show Host
L.A. Tarone as we reminisced about my
career and some of the news stories I covered
over all those many years. I actually remember
some of them. That, in itself, is an
    I got to talk to some very nice listeners who
called in to share their memories and opinions.
     I especially enjoyed the memories. As a
reporter I tried to steer clear of opinions. I
was taught that newsmen were suppose to be
a lot like the late Jack Webb in Dragnet....
"Just the facts Mam."
     We did talk a little about my DJ days too.
I played the "oldies" when they were new!
I was a little nuttier then although my wife
would probably say there's been no change.
     My best radio days were spent at WILK.
It was nice to sit behind that logo again!
     Hope some of you remember and that
all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Gift From Heaven! - It's In The Cards!

    My wife and I love to get and send
Christmas Cards! We get a lot of really
beautiful Christmas greetings each year
from both family and friends.
    We treasure each and every one! And
that goes for the many greetings we get
through the Social media these days.
    We received one this year that
included a tiny gift....more precious than
gold! It was a memory!
    For just a moment my wife and I were
puzzled when a card arrived with a
wonderful Christmas message and a hand
written note on the side that's usually
blank.  It read "A little gift sent from
heaven." Just above that line a paper
clip was taped to the card.
    Suddenly my wife and I stared at
each other and exclaimed..."The Car!!!!"
     Many years ago I was on an assignment
with Bob Dennis,the man who served as
my cameraman through most of my television
career. For some reason my son, very young
at the time, was doing a ride along with us
that day.
     Our story took us deep in the bottom of
an area strip mine. When we were done
shooting we got back in Bob's car to leave.
But the car, a vintage butterscotch colored
American Harvester Scout, wouldn't start!
     There's not much help available at the
bottom of a strip mine! But Bob, who used
to help around a local Stock Car Race Track,
crawled underneath to see if he could figure
out what was wrong. He got back in and tried
again. Still no go! We were beginning to feel
like Big Bad John!
     That's when Bob asked me if I had a paper
clip. I opened my briefcase and found one.
Bob took it with him on a second trip under
the old Scout.
      This time when he got out from
underneath and back inside....the car fired
right up! And we drove away safe and sound!
      Somehow, Bob had found the electrical
problem causing our trouble and bypassed
it with my paper clip. Probably just as
amazing, he drove the car that way for the
next two weeks until a new part came in!
     We lost Bob to cancer in 2007.
     The card was from his wife Carol. But
she is right. The Christmas gift came from
heaven! Thank you Bob!
      Hope your Christmas is filled with
miracles, large or small, and that all your
NEWS is good!


Monday, December 22, 2014


    Two cars racing towards a cliff
or each other! The first one to swerve
is the "chicken"........ or the loser!
     Of course it doesn't have to be
cars. Any sort of head on challenge
can be considered a game of chicken!
     We found ourselves in the game
yesterday as I, and several family
members, went out to lunch.
     Somebody spotted a sign that
Popeye's had opened a new
restaurant in our area.
     My immediate thoughts were of
that sailor man I used to see in the
movie cartoons. The thought of a
Spinach Restaurant didn't seem very
appealing to me. But the rest of my
gang said this Popeye's featured a
Louisiana style chicken.
      It seems to me that Popeye and
Colonel Sanders are playing Chicken!
Each chain claims to offer the best
chicken available. It's Popeye's
Louisiana recipe vs. the Colonel's
Kentucky blend of 11 herbs and
      The Grand opening crowd
at Popeye's seemed to suggest its
victory over KFC in a recent national
taste test was legitimate.
       The results might have been a
little different had I taken part! I
quickly discovered that the Louisiana
recipe is a code for Cajun cooking.
And that, of course, is code for spicy!!!!
       I'm not big on spicy foods. When
my grand daughter noticed that my
eyes were red and watering we both
understood where the name "Popeye"
came from!
       To be fair I think most people who
jammed into the place loved the menu.
       As for me, the Colonel is still in
command! Hope he doesn't Chicken
out...and that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

I Got Sunk On Titanic!

   The similarities were uncanny!
   They partied. They ignored the warnings.
Then, they went down with the ship!
    Last evening my wife and I partied!
    First with family then, later with the
folks from WBRE/WYOU.
    The parties were great, Food and fun
with family and friends and not a care
in the world.
     But our media party was held at the
Mohegan Sun Casino. So, naturally, after
dinner with the gang we headed over to
the gaming area.
    My wife first spotted the iceberg...I
mean the slot machine. It was one of
those progressive slot machines where
the jackpot keeps growing.
    On top, in large unmistakable
lettering, was the name of the game.
It was called TITANIC!
    Anyone who knows me is aware of
my connection to and fascination of the
Titanic story. So, of course, this was my
machine of choice.
     My wife and I had agreed to limit
our play to twenty dollars so I pulled
a twenty from my wallet and inserted
it in the machine. It promptly came
back! Perhaps I had placed the bill in
upside down. So I reinserted it and,
once again it was immediately rejected!
    As unbelievable as it sounds, I had
another twenty dollar bill. I decided to
try it. Four times more the bill simply
came back out of the machine!
    I now know I should have considered
each insertion as an "Ice warning."
    After about 9 total attempts the brain
inside the machine said to itself, "this
guy thinks he's unsinkable." My twenty
was accepted and I immediately started
to lose it pennies at a time.
    It was as if the water was pouring
over each successive bulkhead just
waiting to plunge to the bottom.
   While it was too late for any life
boats I finally jumped away from the
machine. I had retained seventeen cents
of my original twenty dollars.
    I gave that to my wife which she
promptly lost on another slot machine!
I didn't bother to see what hers was
   Hope the Carpathia comes along soon,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Little Italy?

    My wife and I and two of our best friends
decided to dine out last night. We didn't set
out for Italy. But it seems like that's where
we ended up!
     Our destination was  La Dolca Casa in
Tamaqua. It seemed, for just a second, we
had landed at the North Pole! The restaurant
was decorated as though Santa did the job
     But I knew we came to the right place
when Luigi, the restaurant's weekend
entertainer, greeted me with his accordion
and the familiar strains of "The Godfather."
     Luigi set up shop next to our table which
was originally set up to welcome 6 customers.
It turned out to be just big enough to handle
all the food that was set out before us!
    The place traditionally brings a tray of
bread, knots, and sauce to your table well
before your order. You could fill up with
    We ordered what some might consider to
be a conservative meal. Then the owner,
Mr. DiMaggio (No relation to Joe) brought
us a whole tray of garlic goodies that could
have easily fed 4 more people! I believe
he still thinks children are starving in
Europe. Somehow he believed stuffing
us would solve the world's hunger problems!
He sure solved ours!!!!!!
    All the while Luigi entertained us with
songs from Italy and serenaded our ladies!
Just a friendly place that treats its customers
like family and friends!
    Before we could leave our host also
offered us a Christmas present of Italian
cookies. More food!
    We filled the trunk with boxes of food
we just couldn't finish at the table.
Unfortunately, Luigi wouldn't fit in the
trunk! Otherwise we would have taken
him too.
    Our wives won't have to cook for about
a week or two!
    Hope you've got friends like that too
and that all your NEWS is good.


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Day At The Ballet

   I found my self on stage the other day.
On the set of the Nutcracker Ballet!
   Fear not. I was not in a tutu!
   Joanne Arduino, Director of the
Ballet Theater of Scranton, invited me
to watch as stage hands and dancers
prepared for a dress rehearsal of the
famous production featuring the classic
music of Tchaikovsky!
   It's powerful music! We found that
out when the sound technicians tested
their speakers in the middle of our TV
interview! I nearly broke into dance!
   The work that goes on behind the
scenes is unbelievable! The Dancers
enjoy the applause. But a good part
of their performance is enhanced by
the people you never see who light
the set, place the props, and provide
the special effects.
   They're a lot like the camera and
control room people who worked so
hard to make those of us on TV look
good. good as they could
make us look. After all they're not
miracle workers!
    The great thing about the Ballet
to be performed at Marywood
University on December 26th., 27th.,
and 28th is that it's presented absolutely
free! The Ballet Theater of Scranton
has been offering it as a gift to the
community for 39 years! That's a
lot of gift giving!
     It's a great story and the performers
are as good as you'll see anywhere.
    Give yourself and your family an
extra holiday treat this year by stopping
by for free tickets an hour and a half
before any of the shows which are
offered at 2pm and 7:30pm.
    I did one tap step for Ms. Arduino
just before our interview. She now
knows why Vaudeville died!
    Hope you'll take in one of the shows
and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's A Major Award!!!!!!!

   It's really neat to win something! That's
especially true when you didn't even know
you were in the game!
   Two weeks ago a Facebook buddy sent
me a personal message to tell me I had
been voted "Best Blogger" in the annual
"Best Of 2014" competition run by the
Diamond City entertainment publication!
    I immediately assumed there had been
some mistake. He had to be talking about
some other guy named David.
    He assured me that was not the case.
He told me a number of you who read
this daily commentary had actually
voted for me! And, as I said, I wasn't
aware I had even been nominated.
    Both my parents have been gone for
a number of years and, since it is very
unlikely my wife would vote for me, I
must assume some of you actually
took the time to endorse my daily
ramblings. For that, I humbly thank
    I'm hardly a Diamond in the rough
so, linked with all the other winners I
see, I will simply consider myself a
"Rough in the Diamond." (Diamond
City that is.)
    There's a party for all the winners
in January when we'll get our awards.
I wonder if mine could be a Bowling
    The "Best Of 2014 List" can be
found on line or in the current
issue of Diamond City.
     Hope you'll consider writing me
in for a Pulitzer too, and that all your
NEWS is good.

Best Local Author David Parmelee
Best Local Blogger Dave DeCosmo
Best Local Comedian Scott Bruce

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Kid's List

   Sometimes Grandparents get a
chance to look over their grand kid's
Christmas Wish lists before they
ever get to Santa.
   But the question is, can they read
   These days they're likely to include
things such as Iphones, Ipads, and
Tablets. Or MP3's and music
downloads. I thought an MP was
a Military Policeman! And tablets
were those headache pills Bayer
   Times have sure changed since the
days when I was a kid!
    I remember waiting, with great
anticipation, for the new Lionel
Train Catalog every year. You could
be sure one of those classic steam
locomotives or, perhaps, a
Streamliner Diesel would be on my
Christmas list!
   And, yes, a BB gun, Red Rider or
not, would probably make that list.
    These days electric trains have
been replaced by electric gadgets
that allow kids to text their friends,
make phone calls, take pictures or
search the world wide web.
    Back in my day that would have
required my own telephone, a
Kodak camera, and a full set of the
Encyclopedia Britannica!
    Usually the younger the
grandchild the easier the gift!
    If they're 7 or under, for instance,
you can be sure something from "Frozen"
will be a big hit under the tree this year.
    But two of my grand daughters
are in there teens now. So the old
standby, a doll, just won't cut it
anymore. Grannie will be of great
help with these two!
    If you're a smart grandparent you
will have a written list of reasons at
your disposal as to why a Pet is not
a good idea as a Christmas gift!  
     My grandson wanted a Gecko
this year. At first I thought he wanted
some sort of insurance policy. He's
only eleven!
    Actually he was interested in the
small lizard represented by the
character in those well known
commercials. I'm not sure there is
a local Lizard shop.
    Fortunately, or not, he found one
that needed to be adopted well before
we were confronted with it on his
Christmas list!  Scratch the Gecko!
    Oh well. I'm sure we'll come up
with something for him and all the
others. Santa, and grandparents always


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oh Say....Can You See?

    Don't bother to stand. This Blog's got
nothing to do with our National Anthem.
    I've been writing a lot about all the
great Christmas lighting I've seen around
our area lately. There are lights all over
the place.
    It's the lighting I don't see that has me
a bit rattled.
    Sunset around these parts in December
is about 4:30PM. Throw in some cloudy
skies and, fact is, is getting dark around
    But for some reason there seems to
be a significant number of drivers who
refuse to turn on their headlights until
the stars come out!
    Of course you don't notice them
right away. Not until they get really
   Sometimes, I suppose, it's because
they just drove away from a really
bright parking area and they just don't
realize they're not under those lights
any more.
   Some of these characters are probably
under the impression they're "using up"
their car's electricity by turning on the
   Whatever the reason I'm not big on cars,
especially black or very dirty ones, that
either appear out of no where or suddenly
show up right in front of me without
    Of course the other side of the coin
features those drivers who seem to love
their High Beams and hate to shut them
    Hope you light up the night before we
bump into each other...and that all your
NEWS is good!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ghosts From Christmas Past

    That opening scene from "A Christmas Story"
could just as easily be a scene from my days as
a kid. The area's big Department Stores always
had fancy Christmas displays with animated
characters and some of the merchandise we'd
be seeking from Santa!
   In my case that was usually a Lionel train!
   The days of those elaborate window displays
are long gone for the most part. So are most of
those Department stores!
    You can still find a few in places like New
York and Chicago. Or, you can go to the town
of Newfoundland in Wayne County!
     Newfoundland doesn't have a Macy's. But
it does have Joe Spinelli!
     A native of Brooklyn, New York, Joe's
Dad used to take him to see a big Department
Store window display every Christmas. He
loved it.
    Years later his wife, whose birthday falls
on Christmas, bought the whole display for
Joe! I have no idea how she wrapped all that!
Anyway, now, he's sharing it with the rest of
     Joe told his story to me and Rusty Fender
on a weekly show I do for Electric City
Television. It's his "labor of love!"
     His display is back in a windows again.
But now those windows are set up in a trailers
parked in his front yard!
      Every year, starting at Thanksgiving,  he
invites visitors to drive up to view the colors
the animated characters and the music. He
adds a little each year and is constantly
searching for more of the classic display
equipment you used to see in every major
     There's no charge. Joe just wants others,
especially the kids, to enjoy the sights he
used to love in Brooklyn back in the day!
      All the fun and nostalgia without New
York traffic and tolls!
      If you're in the mood to take a trip to
"Christmas Past" just head for Newfoundland
and look for Joe Spinelli's place at 391
Crestmont Drive. He keeps it up till "Russian
Christmas" on January 6th.
      Hope you'll enjoy the memories and that
all your NEWS is good!



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Night Lights

   My grandson and I took a drive to
Scranton last evening. We headed
out to take in the lights. And there
were plenty to see!
   It's hard to say what was more
impressive. The massive Christmas
light display set up in Nay Aug Park,
or the long line of red tail lights on
the hundreds of cars filled with
families that have been coming out
to see that display! But wait! There's
  There's another "must see" display
just off Moosic Street in the Electric
  For more years than most can
remember a former Scranton Police
Officer has turned his home and the
alley next to it into an animated and
illuminated Christmas wonderland!
   And the lighting bug seems to be
   A few blocks away from Moosic
Street you'll find several houses
covered from street to roof top with
colorful lights and animated Christmas
   Each of those holiday displays have
been attracting large crowds! Very large
    If Scranton could enact a Christmas
Display Visitor Tax the city could
probably balance its budget! As it
stands now the only thing those lights
are generating are a lot of smiles.
     Most are on the faces of the kids
and their parents.
     But I'll bet the biggest is on the
face of a character we use to call
"Reddy Kilowatt!"
     Hope you'll take time to take in
the night lights and that all your NEWS
is good!