Friday, July 31, 2015

My Big Screen Debut



  After years of coming into people's
homes on 19 and 21 inch TV screens
today I'll be seen on a big screen in
a theater in New Hope, Pennsylvania!
   I won't be up there very long. But
I will be there!
   Today is the Pennsylvania Premier
of Chris Fetchko's movie "All In Time"
which was filmed, for the most part,
in Wilkes-Barre and Pittston. Chris
was kind enough to cast me in a scene
as the father of our star Sean Modica.
It's a scene in which the dad sort of
tells his son what he should be doing
with his life.
     As my own son will tell you, I was
a natural for that part! I was rehearsing
for years without knowing it!
    Vanessa Ray is in the movie too.
Some of you will know her from her
role on the TV series "Blue Bloods."
    The movie has been screened, with
much success, at several Film Festivals.
But this is the first time it's being shown
in Pennsylvania. I think the movie is
pretty darn good.
     But the audience should be interesting
too!  Both of my wives will be there! And
two unrelated sister-in-laws!
     Perhaps I should explain.
     My wife Leona will accompany me
to the screening where she'll get to meet
Bev Ann Brennan who plays my wife in
the movie.  Additionally, my sister-in-
law Theresa is coming from New Jersey
to see the movie as is Judy Martini who
plays my sister-in-law on screen.
      I'll probably be hurrying home not
long after the feature ends as my new
grandson will be making his own debut
anytime now.
      Hope in all the rush I bring the right
wife home, and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Men At Women's Fellowship

          FRIDAY, JULY 31ST


    Once a month the women from our
church get together and......well....they
do things women do when they get
together. We guys don't usually know
what that means.
    Last night though the women
invited the men to their meeting!
It turned out to be a picnic/ outing at a
beautiful home owned by a couple
from our congregation.
    Since it was still, technically, a
Women's Fellowship meeting, the
wife provided the invitation and her
husband did the cooking.
    There were hot dogs, hamburgers,
salads, donuts, and some really good
potato chips (although I had to sneak
some away from one of the ladies
who insisted they were hers.
     Everybody was invited. One
couple even brought their Saint
Bernard puppy. Unfortunately he's
still too young to carry the Brandy
     There's a big pavilion where
folks could sit around and catch up
on each other's lives. And there's a
beautiful pond where a couple of the
guys tossed in their lines in search
of the legendary monster Bass said
to lurk somewhere in its depths.
     It was a darn good meeting!
     Some of the guys are thinking
maybe we should join this women's
group! We'll have to check future
     Hope we don't have to sew
anything...and that all your NEWS
is good!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Night At The Concert!



    I was a little surprised to get the
invitation to appear, on stage, at the
weekly concert series at Hillside
Park in Lackawanna County.
    Maybe they had heard about my
harmonica? Or, perhaps, someone
had overheard me whistling some
place. I do that a lot.
     I checked the schedule and two
acts, Common Threads Band and
Sassafras, were already on the bill.
     I dusted off the harmonica and
played a few notes of "Ode To Joy."
Then I ran after my wife to assure
her the fire alarm was not going
     When I got to the concert I
learned  I was not actually invited
to preform. (Maybe they spoke
with my wife?)
     Still, it was an honor to be there.
Electric City TV, where I volunteer,
promotes the free weekly concert
series a few weeks before it begins
each summer. The station also gets
a recording of each concert and
plays it numerous times. The
concert folks wanted to give ECTV
a pat on the back so I provided the
     I'm going to start rehearsing now
for next year. Maybe I can come up
with a second song?
     Hope I make the big time and
that all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On The Comeback Trail??



    I took my grandson to a ball game
last night. We headed out to watch
the Rail Riders play. But I was,
initially, stunned by what I saw!
    We were just seated when
someone walked past me and I
noticed a big number 2, and the
name Jeter on the back of his
     I had seen Derek Jeter when
he played while on a rehab
assignment with the Scranton/
Wilkes-Barre team. That was
only two years ago. But he looked
so much older now that he's
retired. Was he on the comeback
    I glanced around to see where
he was sitting. That's when I saw
his name and number again! Only
now he seemed suddenly taller!
    I turned to tell my grandson
what I had seen. That's when I
saw the name Jeter and the number
2 on the shirt he was wearing.
    Apparently, though he's gone
from the game, he's being
remembered by a lot of baseball
     And just as I came to my
senses, another "old timer" got a
big round of applause from the
fans who crowded the stadium.
     The Philly Phanatic showed
up to cheer on the Iron Pigs team.
Not too many years ago that team
called our area home and went by
the name The Red Barons! Seems
a lot of the fans have fond memories
of that character too!
     Well, we root, root, rooted for
the home team and they came away
the winner! I think my grandson
and I were winners as well last
     Home you're all..."safe at home"
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, July 27, 2015

How Sweet It Is!


        HOW SWEET IT IS!
  I can't understand what's happened to
my former colleagues in the news media!
  They are usually up to date on ever
important event....especially those that
are scheduled ahead of time.
   Yet I've listened to the radio, watched
two television newscasts, and gone on
line to check several newspapers
(including the New York Times), and
have seen absolutely no mention of the
fact that July 28th is "National Milk
Chocolate Day!"
    Talk about missing the 'biggie!'
    According to my web source it is a
day when everyone, Chocoholics or not,
are encouraged to consume  Milk
Chocolate either in candy, baked goods,
or both!
    As WILK's John Webster reminds us,
"If it's on the Internet it must be true."
    We are also admonished not to be
dyslexic about this special day. It's a
 day for Milk Chocolate...not Chocolate
    I will make a special effort to have
my wife observe the day although she
admittedly favors Dark Chocolate.
    I'm sure I'll have no problem
getting the grand kids to join the effort!
   The 'researchers' who reveled the
existence of Milk Chocolate Day report
they were unable to trace the origin of
the 'holiday' or whatever you want to
call it.
   But I'll bet there's a paper trail on
this one that leads straight to Hershey
   Anyhow I just began the celebration
with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!
   Hope your day is sweet and that all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Waiting Game!



   A whole bunch of family and
friends showed up for my great
niece's graduation party Sunday.
But one guy didn't show up!
    Yesterday was my daughter-
in-law's due date to deliver our
latest grandson. But nobody
told the baby!
     We were hoping the
graduation bash might turn
into a Birthday party.
     Our expectant mom even
joined others in the pool in the
hope the new guy would decide
to join his cousins in a swim.
     You'd think he'd like to make
a grand entrance with so many
people around waiting to
applaud! I can see I'll have to
have a long talk with this young
man when he does decide to join
us! Maybe he's just shy and wants
to come in quietly.
     Oh well. It was a great party
and Grandpa didn't let the boy's
cake and cookies go to waste. It's
the least I can do for my new
     Hope he shows up real soon
and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Just Ribbing You!



    On July 25th., 1867 President
Andrew Johnson created the
territory of Wyoming!
    On July 25th., 1850 Gold was
discovered in Oregon!
    And on July 25th., 2015 I
discovered the Open Pit Ribs
at American Grill!
    We were driving through
the metropolis of Exeter when
I spotted the sign. We actually
passed the place and drove
about a mile before my mind
and stomach convinced me to
give this new enterprise a try.
   It was a good decision!
   Shaun Cruz went to school
in northeastern Pennsylvania
then headed to Louisiana for
a few years.
    He returned with his wife
and receipt for smoked Bar-
B-Q ribs. More good decisions!
    I finished off half a rack in
no time. Since I brought my
wife shortly after her breakfast
she couldn't handle the half
chicken she ordered. So, being
a gentleman, I consumed the
rest for her.
    My daughter, grandson,
daughter-in-law, and grand
daughter soon joined us and
tried the menu themselves.
   Ribs, and pulled pork
were the top choices, although
we were talked into trying
the collard greens prepared
with Sean's Louisiana recipe!
    It doesn't take much talk
to have us try food! And it
turned out to be very tasty!
By the way kids they also
have ice cream!
    It was really cool to run
across this young couple
who decided to build a
business right here in NEPA!
It's easy to see they know what
they're doing and care about
their product and service.
    Of course I didn't try
everything so I suppose I'll
have to go back. I don't mind!
    Hope they succeed and
that all their NEWS, and
yours, is good!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Day For Horsing Around!



    Saddle up everybody! It's National
Merry-Go-Round, or Carousel Day!
    The Merry-Go-Round has been
going round for a lot of years! July 25
was chosen as  National Merry-Go-
Round Day, an “unofficial” national
holiday, as it coincides with the first
United States patent that was issued for
the modern carousel. 
    That patent was awarded to William
Schneider of Davenport Iowa on July 25,
1871. I didn't cover the event. But I'm
sure glad he got the patent!
     The Carousel, along with the train,
are about the only amusement rides I
can still handle these days.
      Knoebel's has two. Both built in
1912. The year the Titanic went down!
Today's "thrill rides" remind me of
the titanic! My stomach goes down
just watching the grandkids ride those
       You can still catch the Brass Ring
on the Grand Carousel at Knoebel's. My
niece Betty would have a better chance
on a Merry-Go-Round in Europe. She's
left handed!
       Most European Carousels turn
clockwise while most U.S. models
go counter clockwise. Of course most
riders don't give any thought to which
way they're spinning. You can get
dizzy either way!
      Still there's nothing like mounting
a noble steed that knows where it's
going and won't throw you!
       Hope you'll grab that ring and
that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Out At The Ranch!



     Well as most of you know yesterday,
July 23rd, was National Hot Dog Day!
In honor of the occasion my wife and
I headed out to the Ranch! The Ranch
Wagon that is, in Shavertown.
    It's one of those old classic road
side restaurants that happens to feature
hot dogs and the like. As a matter of
fact the place started in 1955 as a Hot
Dog Stand.
    They still have "Car Hops" there.
For those of you under 50-years-old
a Car Hop is a waiter or waitress that
takes your order from and delivers
your food to....your car.
    We opted to use the Ranch Wagon's
gazebo-like pavilion where the tables
are shaded from the sun.
    I had one initial complaint as my menu
seemed to be blank. My wife flipped it
over and a whole range of tasty choices
suddenly came into view.
     It was truly like the good old days.
My wife even had a milkshake to go
with her hot dog in honor of the day.
     Being a rebel (even without the
flag) I went with another American
classic, a hamburger and fries!
      We know a lot of good restaurants
around and out of the area. But
sometimes you just can't beat a road
side stand the features some of the
basics like hotdogs and milk shakes!
       Hope you celebrated National
Hot Dog day on your travels and
that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Day At The Office


      My wife and I took advantage
of Wednesday's beautiful weather
and headed out for a picnic.
      After a quick stop at Dunkin
Donut and Subway for sandwiches
to suit our individual tastes we
drove to one of our favorite picnic
places. The Twin Covered Bridges
at Forks, near Bloomsburg.
    Built in the 1800's, and repaired
after several major floods, the
two bridges, not really "twins" by
the way, take visitors back to an
earlier time when life was slower
and more relaxed.
   We found one gentleman already
using one of the picnic benches set
up on the bridges. But he wasn't
eating lunch!
    Using a cellphone and a laptop
computer he was "taking care of
business." I don't have the
slightest idea what his business is.
But if more people were "working"
at a site like this I suspect they'd
never need blood pressure
    We didn't get too close for fear
we'd break the mood! I don't know
what he does for an office in the
winter. But I wouldn't be surprised
to find him on a quiet beach
     And if he ever decides to quit
I could be lured back to the work
     Hope he takes a break for
lunch....and that all your NEWS
is good!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Build A Better Mouse Trap......



     You've all heard the old saying.
"Build a better mousetrap and the world
will beat a path to your door." It has been
attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in
the late nineteenth century. And a lot of
people have apparently taken old Ralph's
     We detected signs that a mouse had
been visiting us recently. So I set out to
get the most modern mouse trap I could
    The selection was most impressive!
These days you can even buy an electronic
unit that, according to the advertisement,
keeps mice away! And speaking of
"keeping mice," there was a large
selection of huge sticky pads that are
suppose to trap mice where they step
on them.
     But here's the thing. I don't want to
capture mice! I have no interest or intent
on training a new "Mr. Jingles" for
"Mouseville." I'm more interested in
Capital punishment! How quick we
forget to brought us The Plague! So
my arsenal includes several traps
designed long before anyone improved
on the idea!
    Hope we don't use up too much of
our good cheese on these things...and
that all your NEWS is good!
    (UPDATE....This one won't plague
us anymore!!!!!!)


Monday, July 20, 2015

Little Stinkers!



    I think I've mentioned this
before. But, except for the three
fish who call my wife's aquarium
home, we don't have any pets.
    Generally the neighbors
provide them for us.
     A few have dogs, But most of
the time you never even know
they're there.
     Then there are the cats! I
stopped counting a long time ago.
Although we have spotted the
newest litter of four that, like the
rest of them, have decided to use
our back and front yard as their
restroom as they travel around
the development.
     They are feral cats that only
hang around because someone,
who doesn't claim ownership,
throws some food out every
      And now it appears the
food is attracting still more
critters to the neighborhood. The
latest is a group of baby skunks
we've seen over the past couple
weeks. Of course we knew they
were there well before we saw
them! I'm guessing the cats and
the polecats came across each
other and the new guys left their
usual calling card!
      I'm sure both breeds would
be happy to have a good home.
So, if you're looking for pets we
have an excess around here!
      (You can have one neighbor
      Hope they'll find their way
anywhere else....and that all your
NEWS is good!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

You'll Swing For This!



      Although he's never been convicted,
my son spent the past two days at hard
      It was suppose to take an estimated
six hours to assemble a wooden swing
and slide set his daughter could enjoy
in the back yard. I don't think a crew
of 6 could have accomplished the job
in 6 hours!
     Whether he realizes it or not, I was
a big help! I stayed completely away
from the construction site! This
decision was based on personal
     Many years ago I set out to put
together a metal swing set for my own
children. My son included. Eventually
my kids were able to enjoy the equipment.
But my wife was forced to keep them
far away as I took on the "do it yourself"
project. It was the first time my wife
realized I knew any cuss words!
     I pulled them out of some deep,
dark recess of my mind after seeing
that parts that were suppose to fit
together didn't and that my skin was
nowhere near as tough as the hammer
and screw drivers that frequently cut
into me! The rack could not have
offered more torture!
      The instruction sheets looked like
Egyptian hieroglyphics and few of the
parts resembled anything on those
pages! I'm not sure my finished
product did either.
      Somewhere around the house I
still have a box filled with the "extra
parts" I had left over from the job!
I don't "build" or attempt to build
things anymore. That's why God
made construction companies, and
      Hope my grand daughter "gets
the swing of things"...and that all
your NEWS is good!
(Photos courtesy of my daughter-
in-law Charlotte!)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It's Sundae!

          SUNDAY, JULY 19TH.

             IT'S SUNDAE!

    What a great day! It's the 3rd Sunday
of July....and that means it's National Ice
Cream Day (Hence my title, It's Sundae)!
    In 1984 President Reagan proclaimed
July as National Ice Cream Month. He
also established the third Sunday of July
as National Ice Cream Day. So, you see,
it is official!
     Coincidentally,it is also "National
Raspberry Cake Day! I suppose you
could combine the two with a scoop or
two of ice cream on your Raspberry
     Everybody in my family likes ice
cream although my son usually won't
eat any. Something about "carbs" I think.
    When he and my daughters were little
I used to get them as big a cone of ice
cream as I could. Then, when they
couldn't finish it. I was there to step in
and help out.
     Over the years ice cream helped make
me the man I am today. Something about
carbs I think!
     There are probably a few people who
don't like ice cream. I just never met any
of them. And I'm not too sure I'd trust
      So enjoy your day! Have a Sundae
or a triple decker cone. Or a nice milk
shake or the like.
       Hope nobody gives you the
raspberries..and that all your
your NEWS is good!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Putt, Putt!


             PUTT, PUTT!

     I gave up golf many years ago.
My slice was so severe I only saw
the others in my foursome at the
tee and on the green. They walked
the fairway together while I hiked
the edge of the course, usually in
the thick brush searching for my
golf ball.
      But then miniature golf came
along. No long walks or lost golf
balls. All you had to do was putt
the ball through an obstacle like
a turning windmill and into the
hole. Well that's the way it used
to be.
     Somewhere the diabolical
people who design miniature golf
courses are doing away with the
windmills and setting up courses
that will drive you mad!
     I joined some family members
on one such course yesterday. It
was designed around a castle. But
a knight would have a tough time
holding his temper after attacking
the dragon and other obstacles set
up to challenge players.
     One hole was clearly out in
the open just about 30 feet away.
But that hole was set up at the top of
what looked like an ant hole. Unless
you struck the ball at exactly the
right speed and trajectory, and
enjoyed a bit of luck, you could
count on taking the 5-stroke limit!
     The easier the holes looked the
more deceiving they were and
the more laughs the designers
were having at my expense!
      I came away feeling as if I
had done 18 holes at Pebble
Beach with just a putter! And this
was Mini Golf! I did strike the ball
a few fewer times than the rest of
my did win! And,
actually, we all win when we're
out together!
    Still, I hope they bring back
the windmills...and that all your
NEWS is good!