Saturday, February 28, 2015


     My wife can do almost anything!
     She spins wool. She cooks. She
cleans. She works with tools, although
part of her strategy in that case is to
make sure tools don't fall into my hands.
She does jig saw and crossword puzzles
that I won't go near.
    She can do nearly everything. With
one exception!
    My wife cannot handle shredded
     Many people, my brother-in-law
and one close friend immediately come
to mind, have a compulsion about
adding shredded cheese to whatever
Italian dish they're eating. Keep in mind
that dishes of that sort tend to come
covered in cheese as they're served.
      And yet those of whom I speak
will take a table cheese dispenser,
remove the lid, and pour its contents
liberally over their food.
      My wife does the same thing.
Except, in her case, here's usually
no food beneath the dispenser.
      When in the company of my
daughter my wife is not permitted
to handle any cheese in shredded
form. She has repeatedly
demonstrated her inability to hold
such a container without dumping
generous portions on the table or the
      Yesterday as I worked with my
laptop my wife prepared pizza for
dinner. As many of you may already
be aware, pizza is already topped
with cheese.
      But, unbeknownst to me, my
wife grabbed a container cheese
so add to her side of the pie. I don't
know how much, if any, actually
reached the pizza. But our kitchen
floor now has the distinct aroma
of Parmesan.
       Hope we can keep the mice
away and that all your NEWS is


Friday, February 27, 2015

Read All About It!

     It's a great day to Read all
about it! In fact, it's "Read Me Day!"
     Read Me Day was started in
1986 by Frankie DeWees, a teacher
at East Hickman Elementary School
in Lyles, Tenn.
     The purpose of the event was to
celebrate the importance of reading.
      I like people who read. Especially
those who read my Blog!
     My wife reads all the time and I've
got a grand daughter who loves to
     I don't read as much as I used to.
That may be because I seem to be
writing all the time. Of course I
usually do read what I've written. 
    Many folks will tell you they
don't have time to read because they're
on the road all the time.
     I thought about that the other day
as we were driving to Binghamton
to meet some friends for lunch.
     I didn't have a book along. So
I decided to read some of the
Billboards. That was probably a
    Some were instructional,
suggesting places where you might
stop in your travels.
     But more and more on them
refer you to web sites. My friend's
car has a lot of options.  But a 
laptop isn't one of them. That's
probably just as well. I'd rather
have him watching the road than
checking goggle for a web address.  
      So, by all means, pick out a
good book today and celebrate.
It beats a billboard any day! 
       Hope your reading glasses
are handy and that all your NEWS
is good!    


Thursday, February 26, 2015

For Pete's Sake!

     In case you haven't already heard,
it's February 26th which is also known
as "For Pete's Sake Day."
     As a guy who is not prone to use
profanity I'm not only in favor of this
"holiday," I'd like to see it extended!
     It's a day to encourage everyone
to replace swear words with those
more acceptable to general society.
     Here's an example. You miss
the nail and hit your thumb with a
hammer. An incident like that could
lead to all kinds of expletives. But,
instead, one could shout.."Oh Sugar!"
     Admittedly you're more likely
to restrain yourself if whatever
annoys you happens when you're in
polite, or mixed, company.
      In my case it's hearing profanity,
or seeing it on line, that gets me
annoyed in the first place!
      "Darn!" How come we hear so
many curses when nobody even has
a hammer? 
       "For crying out loud" can't we
be more civil? 
        "Shoot!" Let's try to clean
things up a bit!
         "For Pete's sake" let's stop
all this cussing!
         Hope I don't have to get out
the Lifebuoy.....and that all your
NEWS is good!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

One Small Mall

  Malls have been going through some
tough times lately. I wonder if it's
because some just got too big for their
  I saw a special on television the other
night about the borough of West
  I've always like the town. I walk there
often, when weather permits.
  The special highlighted the history of
the community as well as some of the
merchants that call West Pittston home.
   I especially liked the segments on
Blue Ribbon Dairy and Ballyhoo's, two
old fashion Ice Cream parlors in the
same town. That's reason enough to go
   But there's two other business places
that didn't make it to the TV show. And
they're an interesting combination that
sit side-by-side in what I've come to
call the Small Mall.
   It's an old brick building easily
missed if you drive by too quickly.
One side holds an old fashion Barber
shop straight out of the 50's and 60's
while the other boosts a Vacuum
Cleaner sales and repair store.
    I guess you could say they're both
"cleaning up."
    At a time when men and women
are looking for Stylists to get their
hair done and most folks head to
Walmart for a new unit whenever
their Bissell breaks, you've got to
wonder what keeps small shops like
these going.
     The barber and the shop keeper
say it's service and the loyalty of
their regular customers.
      I suspect price may have something
to do with it too. A shave and a haircut
may not be "two bits" anymore. But
10 bucks seems like a bargain compared
to some of those fancy stylist places.
     Whatever the secret it's kind of neat
to see a couple of "small guys" making
a go of it even if they're not making a
      Hope they keep on keeping on and
that all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Oscar

    It should come as no surprise to
regular readers. I am a fan of Movies!
    My Dad was a projectionist. My
second home was the old Capitol
Theater in Hazleton.
    It was not unusual for me to see
a double feature on a weekend
afternoon then take in two more at
the Drive In that same night.
    I watched a good deal of the
Academy Awards on TV Sunday
evening. And I've personally seen
3 of this year's award winning films
so far. I plan to see more.
    I had one eye on the television
during the awards ceremony and the
other on Facebook on my computer.
Also, yesterday morning, I had an
ear turned to local Talk radio where
many listeners offered their comments
about the winners and losers.
    I was amazed by the number of
writers and listeners who criticized
the Academy's selections while, at
the same time, admitting they had
either not been to a movie for months
or years or had not seen any of the
pictures that captured awards!
    Many, a great many, were upset
because "American Sniper" was
virtually left out. Yet some of its
supporters never actually saw the
    They seemed to feel the real
life heroics of the movie's main
character should have been
celebrated with an award for the film.
     The amount of criticism has me
thinking we should have another
awards competition. Nominees
would be selected from those who
complain about movies...but seldom
(if ever) go to see them!
     Winners in my competition
would receive a special Oscar
befitting their intelligence with
regard to the motion picture industry!

Hope you're NOT a nominee and that
all your NEWS is good!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cabin Fever

     All dressed up and no place to go!
     That's the way it's been for far too
many days during this short month of
February. Sure seems long!
      Bitter cold temperatures, snow,
wind chill factors, and ice here and
       The streets around my house
were still a slippery mess yesterday
morning. But, as the day wore on,
temperatures finally above freezing
and a little bit of sunshine gave us
hope that there's light at the end of
       Of course by the time the streets
were clear there was still no place to
go. I spent some time watching the
iceberg outside my porch show signs
of receding. Forecasts suggest it may
soon rebuild itself/
     But watching the slow melt did
little to cure my Cabin fever so I did
the only logical thing I could think
     I went for ice cream. I figured it
would bring down the fever! And I
went to a dairy where you can still
buy an actual half gallon! So I did!
So far, so good!
     Hope the malt holds out and that
all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow Birds.

       Ask most anybody and you'll probably
tell you Snow Birds are those folks from the
northeast who spend half the year at home
and the other half in Florida. You can guess
which half is spent where!
       Yesterday, though, I spotted a whole
lot of Snow Birds. And they weren't anywhere
near Disney World!
       As the latest snow fell around my house
the real Snow Birds showed up right outside
my kitchen window!
       That where my wife has set up two
containers that hold seed and bread. It's
always a popular stop for neighborhood
birds. But I didn't think they'd snow up with
the snow coming down. Wrong!
       Several different kinds of birds turned
out for the feast. My wife can tell one breed
from the other. I'm not prejudice. But they
all look pretty much the same to me.
        It's neat to see them feasting. I do worry
about the ones that land on the ground or,
rather, the snow to pick up fallen scraps.
         We still have an abundance of
unattended cats around that are looking for
a feast of their own.
         Maybe I'll get lucky and an Eagle
will stop by, ignore the seed, and pick up
a cat or two! I wonder how I can attract
a couple Eagles?
         Hope the birds get their fill and
that all of your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Think Spring!


    According to the Weather guys we've
set a new record this month. Some of the
coldest February temperatures we've had
in years.
    Not to brag, but I think I knew that
well before the official records proved it!
I literally felt it in my bones. The bones
that ache because of all that cold!
    Every year about this time I'm desperately
searching for signs of Spring.
    The forecasts don't help.
    The Groundhog didn't help.
    Even the prospect of Daylight Savings
Time seems to fall short.
    I was pleased, however, to hear the
familiar "honking" of geese during my walk
in West Pittston the other day!
    Used to be you could always tell that
Spring was at hand when you spotted a
flight of Canada Geese in their "V"
formation flying through the air.
    Of course I didn't actually see that.
    The birds I heard were actually
floating on the Susquehanna. At least I
think they were floating. Maybe they're
frozen to the surface!
     Maybe, like a lot of us, they just can't
afford to fly South!
     Or, maybe, they were just taking a
rest stop. They was plenty of evidence
that might be the case. I made sure I
didn't step in any of it!
     Darn thing is...when they did start to
fly....they were heading East. I have no
idea what that's suppose to mean!
       I'm just hoping they haven't been
influence by any of the TV or radio
weather forecasts. They're enough to scare
anybody away!
       I'm counting on those birds to take to
the air, check their compass, and bring us
       Otherwise, we'll all know where we
can get some refills for our pillows and
       Hope that "V" is pointing north and that
your NEWS is good!

Friday, February 20, 2015

I've Dropped The Other Shoe!

     Regular readers may recall my
purchase of some really great
sneakers in September.
     My Foot Doctor prescribed
them after suggesting my ten
dollar Walmart variety couldn't
support their own laces let alone
my weight. They were, in part,
responsible for an inflammation
in my foot that caused several
sleepless nights. He said the
cheap footwear would best be
used as door stops!
     Those new sneakers have
really been doing the trick. I've
used them on daily walks in
Pittston and West Pittston and, on
very cold days, on the Treadmill
at the YMCA!
     Unfortunately, you're not
allowed to use your outdoor
footwear in the Y's workout
     I solved the problem by
wearing some slip on shoes till
I got there and then switching
to my freshly cleaned sneakers.
     Earlier this week though I
made the mistake of wearing
those slip on shoes all day.
     So, yesterday, I returned
to my Doctor in the hope of
ridding myself of the terrible
ache that has turned my
other foot!
      He gave me a cortisone
shot and suggested I find some
more doors where the slip on
shoes might do some good.
I'll do it ....just as soon as the
pain goes away!
      Hope my Softball spikes
don't end up holding a closet
open.....and.....that all your
NEWS is good!


Thursday, February 19, 2015


    I just don't get it!
    I checked the live web camera at
Times Square in New York. Sure,
there were plenty of people walking
around. But no where near the huge
crowd I saw on December 31st!
    There were a lot of Taxi Cabs in
the picture too. I didn't see one horse!
    What's going on?
    Didn't anybody know it was New
Year's Eve?
    And today is New Year's Day!
    Check your calendar to make
sure you're up to date! This is Chinese
New Year 4713!
    Chinese New years or Spring Festival,
is the biggest holiday in chinese culture. It
is celebrated with festivities, fireworks,
brightly colored lights, special meals with
family and gift giving! Hope you didn't
spend too much on me!
    By the way the Chinese New years
celebration extends for 15 days so let's
get this party started!
    Hope there's a good fortune in your
cookie..and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Movies Are Wetter Than Ever!

   It was Tuesday. We were all set to
ditch the cold and catch a movie at
our favorite theater. After all, as they
say,"Movies are better than ever!"
   Unfortunately our theater turned
out to be "wetter than ever."
   According to news reports a
broken sprinkler pipe flooded the
ticket lobby and the foyer at the
Cinemark Theaters in Moosic on
Monday. The same thing happened
to a multiplex theater in Dickson
City. That one reopened in short
order. Cinemark did not!
   Yesterday they got the mops and
fans out to clean up the mess. But
that meant the theaters, all 20 screens,
were dark!
    It would happen on Tuesday! That's
Discount Day! Plus, I had a coupon
for a free small fountain drink with
my popcorn purchase!
    I though the show was suppose
to go on!
    Ironically it was just after the
6pm news when the theater's web
site posted evening show times for
the current features. Apparently
they were preparing to reopen.
    By that time we had rented a
Redbox and I had popped my own
    Oh well. My coupon doesn't
expire till Midnight so maybe
I'll take in a flick today.
     Hope the seats are dry and that
all your NEWS is good.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No Hole In This Holiday!

   Talk about a reason to celebrate!
   This is Pączki Day.
   It's good to be writing about it because
I'm not sure I can pronounce it!
    Pączki are deep-fried pieces of dough
shaped into flattened spheres and filled
with some sort of sweet filling.
    The Polish traditional reason for making
pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar,
eggs and fruit in the house, because their
consumption was forbidden during Lent.
    Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the
beginning of Lent, so you're expected to
fill up on pączki today!
    Whatever the reason it seems like a
really good idea to me!
     I'm not sure the boys at Dunkin
Donuts offer pączki on their menu. If
not I'm wondering if a substitute like
Boston Cream would be acceptable?
     Seems to me it's the thought that
      Hope you chow down on pączki
and that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, February 16, 2015

They Say It's Your Birthday!

    Many years ago there lived a Baseball
team called The Washington Senators. A
popular saying was linked with the team.
    "First in war, first in peace, and last in
the American League!" The first two, of
course, refer to our nation's first President!
     And if you've got a day off from work
or school today it's because George
Washington is still first!
     You see, officially, this is George
Washington's Birthday! It is not
"President's Day!
      Back in 1968 the term "President's Day"
came up for legal consideration in the
Congress.But it was shot down.
     The holiday was moved to fall between
Washington and Abe Lincoln's actual birth
dates. But the name was never changed
even though there was another attempt to
do so in the 1980's.
     Technically, all those Car Dealers and
other merchants pushing President Day
Sales are promoting a holiday that doesn't
     As I've mentioned before, back when
I was in school we had both Washington
and Lincoln's actual birthday's off. I still
support that. As well as a day off for
every President's birthday! I always liked
days off!
     Well, whoever's name you shout out
when you're singing "Happy Birthday"
today, I hope all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

I Finally Made It!

   Many years ago, just after my short
stint as an errand boy for a radio station
in my hometown, I started to send out
applications for a job as a DJ.
   One of the first, as I recall, was sent
to a station based in Lansford. WLSH.
   I received a reply after a few weeks
from the station owner. A gentleman
named Bud Angst.
   It was one of the first rejections I
ever had in my broadcasting life. As
best I recall Mr. Angst told me
I didn't have enough experience to
warrant consideration. He was, of
course, right.
    Now, some 55 years later, I find I
have become a "regular" on the air at
WLSH! Guess all those years on the
air did the trick!
     A veteran broadcaster in his own
right, Mark Marek, runs a call-in show
every Saturday called Coal Region
Connections. It's a nostalgic program as
listeners remember the people, places,
businesses, and stories that made an
impact on our lives and the development
of our area over the years.
     Mark has encouraged me to call the
program each week to share my stories
about the area we call home. He and his
folks at the station have also been kind
enough to share a link to this Blog so a
lot more people will soon be laughing
at, or with, me!
      I don't get paid for my participation.
But nothing is just a little less than what
I made in the business anyway so that's
fine with me!
      I'm thrilled to have made it on WLSH
even if it's just by way of a weekly phone
      I still remember that initial rejection
letter. But I also remember my reply when
I thanked Mr. Angst for his consideration,
and told him that between my application
and his response I had accepted a job with
another station that had just opened in my
hometown! And the rest, as they say, is
      Hope you'll listen on line to Mark's
show on Saturday mornings and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Little Lady With Spaghetti!

       Our Church held it's second annual
"Lady and the Tramp" Dinner last night!
       We could say it's a pre Valentine's.
or pre President's Day celebration.
        In reality it's a good excuse to get
together and eat!
       My wife decorated empty wine
bottles with candle wax drippings last
year so they pulled those out again to
create a beautiful ambiance for the evening.
    As I previously indicated I helped to
empty those bottles in the first place!
    On the menu, spaghetti and meatballs
served by our Pastor...Chef Boy-R-Dave!
There was salad, bread, and enough
deserts to keep our entire congregation
high on sugar for a week!
     Italian music entertained us before
and during the meal and Christian
comedian, Ken Davis, provided the
entertainment after dinner via DVD.
     As funny as Davis was it was my
grand daughter who really broke me
    She may have been looking for
someone to help her with that famous
Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene.
You know the one. Lady has one end
of a strand of spaghetti while Tramp has
the other. It ends up, of course, as a kiss!
    It might have worked for my grand
daughter too, had she not loaded up
with a mouthful of the pasta! I guess
it could have been worse! She decided
to do without the red sauce! 
     It's hard to get so many people from a
church together when it's not a Sunday
Service. But we've found that food
usually does the trick!
     Hope you'll join us some time and
that all your NEWS is good!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Turn Your Radio On!

     It has been 55 years since I landed my
first job in radio as an errand boy for WAZL
in my hometown of Hazleton.
     I went from a "Go-for" to a Disk Jockey,
then into News and, eventually, into TV. I'm
still doing some television hosting and
producing. But my love for radio has never
    And today, is World Radio Day! It's a day
set aside to celebrate radio and what it means
to the communities it serves.
   But it's also a day to encourage more youth
participation in radio.
   Commercial radio is often happy to get
young people involved. Unfortunately it's
usually as unpaid interns. Some will end up
with jobs in the industry. As long as they'll
work cheap!
    Some of the best training for would be
future broadcasters is being offered at area
colleges where students get a chance to get
on the air at stations licensed to the schools.
     I've always supported that kind of
experience. It's produced some very talented
people, even if they didn't all stick with
     Way back when I was an advisor to WCLH,
the Wilkes College (now University) Radio
station. The student manager was Fred
Pierantoni. He is now a Luzerne County
Judge. One of the DJs, Mark Thomas, went on
to become the News Director of WYOU TV.
     Students at WRKC at King's College have
won numerous awards for projects they've
     And the story is similar for students as
WSFX-FM which operates from Luzerne
County Community College.
     I've still on the list as an advisor for
WKCV radio at Keystone College. I know
things must be good there because nobody's
asked for any advice!
     Whenever I get the urge to go back to
my radio roots I just call the gang at WILK,
get involved in the Saturday conversation
at WLSH (in Lansford), or volunteer some
time at WRGN. If I can't get through to
any of them I just cup my hand over my
ear and talk to myself! I'm a good audience!
      Hope you'll tune in somewhere on this
World Radio Day and that all your NEWS
is good!



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Flying Fish To The Rescue?

   There's a grass roots movement growing
in Scranton. It's supporters believe it's a way
to save the struggling Mall at Steamtown.
    Their idea is to turn the Mall, or at least
a good portion of it, into a sort of Farmer's
Market such as the so called Reading
Terminal in Philadelphia.
     I must admit I've never visited the
     But I have seen another very successful
and similar place in Seattle! It's called
Pike's Place!
     My wife and I paid a visit to Pike's Place
in 2006. It is amazing! Thousands of people
show up there every day to shop.
      It's a lot more than just a Farmer's Market,
although there are plenty of farm goods on
hand. It's filled with artist's offerings, flower
shops, restaurants, and pubs.
     It's most famous outlet is Pike's Place
Fish Company where customers who so
desire can pick out their fresh fish and have
the clerk toss it to them like a quarterback
flinging a football!
     Imagine something similar in the
Electric City! Perhaps customers here could
catch some local goodies like Halupki or
an Old Forge style pizza?
     And before you put down this "pie in the
sky idea," (I suppose you could describe
the pizza toss as such) consider the fact that
Pike's Place has been in business since 1907!
      And parking around that place is nearly
non existence unlike the Steamtown Mall
with it's weather proof parking garage!
       Of course the folks behind the Market
idea don't own the Mall. Al Boscov has been
trying to buy it and still operates its lone
anchor department store.
        I'm hoping he and the Market
supporters are both successful!
        I'll show up to catch a trout, or calzone
if they do the deal!
        Hope something come through the
air soon and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Thousand Stars

   I contacted some of my friends in the
media last Friday when I learned that
one time movie star Lizabeth Scott had
passed away.
   A lot of young theater goers probably
never heard of her. And many of those
who did know her name may not have
known that she was born in Scranton.
    That got me to thinking about the
many people our area has produced
who made it big on the silver screen or
landed major television rolls!
     We may not hit a thousand. But we
have a lot!
      Nick Adams, made over 30 movies
but is probably best know for his
staring roll in the TV Western, The
Rebel. Nick was from Nanticoke.
     Another Adams, Edie, not
related to Nick, appeared in movies,
TV, and on stage. She often appeared
with her famous husband, Ernie Kovacs!
Edie hailed from Kingston.
      Russell Johnson was in a series of
movies before becoming ever famous as
"The Professor" on Gilligan's Island.
Russell, who passed away last year, was
born in Ashley.
      There's a long list of actors with
connections to our area.
       Mary Ellen McDonnell who stared
in Dances With Wolves was born in
      Pat Crowley, who has a long list of
screen credits, and her actress sister Ann,
are Coal Miner's daughters from Olyphant!
      You may have seen Shickshinny native
Krysten Alyce Ritter in the popular TV
series Breaking Bad. She's already
appeared in two dozen movies as well.
       Remember Aunt Clara from TV's
Bewitched? That was Marion Lorne from
West Pittston.
       Ellen Albertini Dow is a character actress.
She portrays feisty old ladies and may be best
known as the rapping grandmother in The
Wedding Singer. She was also a choir member
in the movie Sister Act. Ellen was born in
Mount Carmel. By the way, she's still working
and is over 100-years-old!
       Jason Miller of The Exorcist didn't
come from Coal country. But he loved,
and settled in Scranton which he called
home until he passed away.
        Then, of course, there's our area
Academy Award winner, Jack Palance
who came from Hazle Township and
never forgot his roots.
         There are a lot more. Too numerous
to mention.
          And I, as I've pointed out, have about
four lines in the recently produced movie
All In Time which is making the Film
Festival rounds as I write.
         I wonder if the Academy has a
category for supporting, supporting,
supporting actor?  Well, it should!
          That's a wrap! Hope all your NEWS
is good!