Monday, August 31, 2015

What's In Your Lunch Box?


   Kids are heading back to school in
droves (although most take buses) this
week. And a lot of them are equipped
with a lunch box filled with some sort
of sandwich (probably peanut butter
and jelly), a snack of some sort, and
a juice drink or carton of milk.
    My Lunch Box features Italian
Cheesesteaks, burgers, fries, and even
those world famous Nathans all beef
hot dogs!
    And while "Mom" is likely packing
those lunch boxes for the kids, mine is
handled by Bill and Jeff. They own a
Food Truck!
    Those trucks are all the rage these
days and I've been meaning to visit
one of them for some time.
     Well guess what? This one,
appropriately called The Lunch Box,
has set up shop nearly across the street
from my house!
     After trying to find a spot they could
afford in town the owners decided
to set it up in front of their own house
to see what people think. Since it's that
close I just couldn't resist!
       I tried a cheesesteak and some
fries for my first order. The menu
is pretty extensive so I'll probably
have to do a few more taste tests......
in the interest of fairness of course.
But, so far, so good!
       I like the idea of the lunch
box coming to me! Hope the Lobster
Bisque is ready soon.....and that all
your NEWS is good!

You Can't Tell The Players Without.....



      Usually I'd probably steer clear
young women with numbers on
their pictures. But this was a different
      The Wyoming Warriors Soccer
program hosts an annual fund raiser
that allows parents and grand parents
to meet all the players who'll be on
the field this season.
      While it's good to raise money to
support the teams it's also really neat
to realize that all those numbers you
see running around during the games
belong to real, live, individuals!
       That's especially handy for my
wife and I since we've got two
grandchildren playing soccer this
year (on two different teams), another
playing Volley Ball, one playing High
School Football and a young one on
a Mini Football Cheerleading Squad.
        Earlier last week we "met" all
the High School Football players and
all of their Cheerleaders.
        So far I've committed about 9
names to memory and five of them
are grandkids!
        It will be tough to remember all
the other names because there's just
so many. At least, now, those numbers
will look familiar!
       Hope I can remember which sport
I've cheering for....and that all your
NEWS is good!


Saturday, August 29, 2015




    Many years ago somebody whose
last name was Singley decided it
might be a good idea to get Moms
and Dads, aunts and uncles, and
cousins together for a family outing.
     They gathered at a small church
in Zion Grove, Schuylkill County,
had a brief worship service, then
gathered around tables where they
shared home made foods and a lot
of family stories.
      104 years later the descendants
of those Singleys, including me and
several of my family members, met
again. First at the same small church
and then at the nearby Singley Farm
which remains in the family after all
those years.
       It's the only time most of these
folks, who share the same blood line,
get together.
       We still share a lot of home made
food and there are more family stories
than ever!
        Although all the research has been
done and is available I think it's safe to
say most of those who attend don't
really know how we're all related. The
family has spread out a lot over the
       What's really nice is to see the kids
in attendance! They're the ones who will
have to carry on this tradition after the
current "older generation" is gone.
        A few years back somebody was
smart enough to start bringing some
games for the younger set. Like a bean
bag toss.
        Then there's the 'Gator,' actually a
newer incarnation of a four wheel drive
off road vehicle that the kids love to ride
in and around the huge cornfields. Of
course they need to be belted in, wear
helmets, and have "a responsible adult"
to do the driving. Usually, when something
happens around my house, my wife says
I'm responsible. So, accordingly, I drove
the kids around.
       I think all the youngsters had a
good time. I did! I enjoyed talking
with 2nd, 3rd, or 4th cousins or
whoever they are. I loved the fresh
corn cooked up in a  open pit fire.
And I loved having so many of my
family, including the newest member
of this clan, get together to share
what is truly a family tradition!
      Hope we're all back next year and
that all their, and your, NEWS is good!


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Little Lake That Wasn't There!


 The Little Lake That Wasn't There!        

    My wife and I took advantage of
another beautiful day to take a top
down ride in our Miata.
    We're fond of the "roads less
traveled" on drives like that. Less
traffic and, usually, a lot more to
see. Yesterday though, there was
a lot less to see. At least in one case.
     Years back family outings often
took us to sections of Rickets Glen
State Park. We kept my small boat
there a couple seasons and enjoyed
picnics and fishing on Lake Jean.
      But these days, Lake Jean, is
"lakeless!" The entire body of
water has been drained while repair
work is done to the dam that usually
contains the lake.
    It was strange to see the dry lake
bed in the area where I had sacrificed
so many night crawlers. We used to
pull our boat up to an island somewhere
out in the middle. But there was no
sign of it in what seemed like the vast
open field.
    There was a boat, left on its side,
near the spot where we used to launch
our craft. I'm not sure who's keeping
it there or why.  But I wouldn't be
surprised if his name was Noah!  It
would probably take at least 40 days
of rain to refill the lake!
     One other note. We saw a sign
indicating that all of the park's camping
spots were filled! I'm guessing those
folks are not swimmers, boaters, or
     The lake is scheduled to be filled
again next year. Hope that guy with
the overturned boat can wait...and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Walk Up Call


         A WAKE UP CALL

     I appreciated them when we
were on a tour, staying in a hotel
in a town we weren't used to and
realizing we had to be up, out, and
on the road by a certain hour.
     In those cases the wake up call
could save your day.
     As a news reporter, however,
the wake up call became something
to dread! I remember, for instance,
the early morning phone call that
sent me out on a day long assignment
to track down and tell the story of
mass murderer George Banks.
     Now that I'm "retired" and at
home more than away I don't look
forward to any wake up calls. More
often than not if they do come it's
because of some sort of family
     That's why my heart skipped a
beat last Saturday when some pleasant
but now unremembered dream was
interrupted by the distinct ring of my
cell phone. I charge it overnight. But
it's turned on while charging.
     I grabbed it as quickly as possible
and said "Hello." Nothing. It took a
moment to realize the signal I heard
was not an actual call but, rather, a
      More and more my grandkids
have, for some unknown reason,
favored a typed message over an
actual conversation. Could one of them
be stranded somewhere?
      No. The message was an alert from
my cell phone carrier. Someone there,
likely a computer, felt it necessary to
tell me I had used up nearly 75% of my
      There are two problems with this
message. First, I share a plan with my
daughter and her husband and it was
my son-in-law's data that was near an
      Secondly, the call that nearly sent
me into panic mode was received at
4:52AM! For those who have problems
with the big hand on the clock, that's
8 minutes before 5 in the morning!
       I do not recognize mornings that
begin before 8AM and, usually, that's
just the time I begin to stir.
       To be totally fair my carrier,
Verizon, did end its message with a
"Thank you message" for choosing its
plan. I would have replied. But I don't
use what might have been considered
the appropriate language either in
conversation or in print!
      I am now considering the option
of turning my phone off overnight.
Home they don't have my home number,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Something Fishy Here!


      Some of the family got together
yesterday to spend some time at
Francis Slocum State Park.
       My yacht is moored there so
my grandson and I decided to do a
bit of fishing. We picked up some
live bait, aka worms, got on board
and fired up both engines, aka oars,
and sailed out onto the lake.
      Our favorite spot is clearly
marked. I left a yellow and red
bobber hanging from the tree I caught
on our last outing.
       I've been trying to teach my
grandson how to fish. You know the
old saying about teaching a man to fish
and he'll eat forever. I must be doing
a fairly good job because he's hooked
a fish on both our expeditions to this
       Now I've got to find out exactly what
it is he's learned because I haven't caught
a thing! It's my boat, my rods, my hooks,
and we're both using the same worms. So
why does he get all the fish?
       I took my grand daughter on board a
little later. I don't think I have to worry
about het out fishing me. She's all girl
and made it clear she doesn't like worms!
        But whether we're fishing or just
cruising at least I know I'm always long as I can row!
        Hope the Fish Market is still open
and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Do Your Duty!


           DO YOUR DUTY!

     This is truly a day of celebration my
friends. It is a day that all of us in the
civilized world should be absorbing...I
       Its "National Toilet Paper Day!
       I'm not sure why this particular
date was selected. But there are sure
a lot of reasons to celebrate.
        In the interest of full disclosure
my son-in-law works at the Cascade
factory which produces toilet paper
(and other paper products) made
entirely from recycled material! It's
a product that's always in demand!
And that's pretty good job security!
          Joseph Gayetty is widely
credited as having invented modern
toilet paper in the U.S. back in 1857.
According to the Toilet Paper
Encyclopedia, just in case you don't
have a copy, 49% of people choose
toilet paper as their number one
necessity if stranded on a deserted
island (ahead of food!). And 69%
agree that that toilet paper is the 20th
Century “convenience” most taken for
          I'm not sure I agree with the
masses. I tend to think I'd prefer food
over a roll of tissue paper if I was
stuck on a deserted island! Maybe
some food and an old Sears catalog!
          In any case, don't waste this
special day! Do your duty and celebrate!
Hope everything comes out all right
and that all your good!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tunnel Tunes


            TUNNEL TUNES

       The road running past our
development goes up a hill, through
the woods, and leads to a rather
unique structure.
        It is a double arch tunnel.
There are railroad tracks on top.
One of the arches covers a mountain
stream. The other is for traffic.
        But the roadway beneath the
tunnel is very narrow. There's no
more for cars to pass each other
so you've got to go through one
way at a time.
        Tradition mandates that a
driver entering the tunnel sound
his or her horn so drivers approaching
from the other direction can be alerted
someone's already coming through.
        I sometimes walk on another
road nearby and have discovered that
any opportunity to sound a car horn
is not only welcomed by most drivers
it is a chance to "lay on that horn!"
       Some just sound the blast from
the moment that start into the tunnel
to the second they come out the other
side. Others, perhaps a bit more
musical, seem to sound random "beeps"
as they proceed.
        It must be especially entertaining,
although "entertaining" may not exactly
be the right word, for a few homeowners
who live on the east side of the underpass.
You see, even though headlights would
be just as effective, drivers, most of them
men, see the need to continue their
mobile symphony even as their pass
through the tunnel at night!
       It's times like this when I miss the
specialty horn I had installed in my old
jeep. I think both other drivers and
neighbors would be delighted to hear
the strains of "Take Me Out To The
Ballgame," or "Dixie" as I passed through
the arch! I had about 50 different selections
so I could do a whole show as I passed
back and forth.
      Hope they hear you coming...and that
all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Old Ball Game



    I've been watching a lot of baseball
over the past few days. I've caught a
couple innings of my Yankees. But,
mostly, its been the Little Leaguers
competing in the annual World Series
in South Williamsport!
     I've got an interesting connection
to this summer classic even though I
never played in the Little League
      When I was a kid my friends and I
played a lot of Wiffle Ball. I couldn't
help but excel. I was a year or two
older than my neighbors, we played
in my back yard, and I owned the bat
and most of the Wiffle Balls! Talk
about a "No lose situation!"
     Later the gang of us played pick
up games in a semi-natural "stadium"
formed between two banks holding up
railroad tracks running in different
directions. It was a little tough to
slide on the coal waste material that
made up our infield!
      When I got a little older Softball
became my game and I played it for
many years! I had a fair amount of
      It was while covering a story in
Williamsport a few years back when
I discovered, quite by accident, that
a relative of mine played on the
winning team in the very first Little
League World Series. His name
was Ray Singley. That's my middle
name! Not Ray. Singley. It was my
Mom's maiden name.
      Ray played for the Maynard
Midgets. The series wasn't really
a "world" event back then. More
like a Championship between area
teams. Still, it was the first in what
has become a major International
      Watching the kids play the game,
knowing the family tie to the series,
and remembering my Softball days,
makes me feel good. I last pitched
two years ago, for the WYOU/WBRE
team in one of those pick up games.
If my wife has her way it will have
been the last game I play. But, if
that's the case, at least I got the "Win."
      And, if I do ever play again, hope
it's not against any of the Little Leaguers
I've been watching! Or Ray! Also hope
all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Soccer Team Cleans Up!



    My grand daughter's girl's soccer
team really cleaned up yesterday. You
might think that means they won their
game "big time." But they haven't
even started their season yet!
    No, this "clean up" was a fund
raising car wash.
    A local garage operator in Wyoming
Borough lends out his property and
water supply to support the team while
the players bring the soap, hoses, sponges,
and muscle power needed to get the job
    Since my Miata hasn't had a decent
scrubbing for a month or so and, since
I had no desire to do said scrubbing
myself, I drove it in to get cleaned up.
     I put the top up and sat inside
during the process so I could inspect
their work and check for leaks at the
same time. I'm happy to report they
did a good job and I did not get wet!
     I like fund raisers like this. It's
great to buy candy, and I love to eat
it. But when the kids put themselves
into a project it means a lot more to
them and you!
      Some of the girls may have
wondered why I took my vehicle
to a car wash after all their work.
Truth is, they did such a good job I
decided to top it off with a coat of
wax spray!
      Hope they do it again before I
have to think about it...and that all
your NEWS is good!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Italian Scenery



      As many of you know by now my
wife and I will be hosting a tour to
Italy for Travelworld next May. The
brochure came off the presses yesterday
and the trip looks really great!
      Although I grew up in what was
then a Hazleton dominated by folks
of Italian ancestry, my Italian experience
is somewhat limited.
      I did take two years of Italian in
High School. But my memory of those
lessons faded away about the same time
they handed me my graduation diploma.
I can say "Pizza" in several languages,
although they all come out.."Pizza."
      I did visit "Little Italy" in New
York one time and I often walk through
downtown Pittston.
      The only time I set foot on Italian
soil was during a side visit to a small
Italian town when we were hosting a
trip to Switzerland several years ago.
We were taken to a restaurant where,
since I was in Italy, I ordered spaghetti.
      My wife may be better versed in
Italian culture.
      She grew up in a home where her
mom and aunt often exchanged words
in Italian while they were making and
drying spaghetti in the kitchen. While
she never actually spoke the language,
she tells me she could pick up a word
here or there. If only they knew!
      Several years ago she joined a tour
group heading to Italy.
       She has seen the Coliseum. She
has seen the Sistine Chapel and gazed
at the art work of Michelangelo. That's
a lot of Italian scenery!
       But, in a sense, we're equal. I saw
Sophia Loren when she visited Wilkes-
Barre a few years back! She was born
in Rome and we're going there. So,
I hope.............all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Senior Day!

            FRIDAY, AUGUST 21ST

                  SENIOR DAY!
   Some of those reading this will NOT appreciate it.
   Not yet anyway! 
   August 21st is 'National Senior Citizens Day!'
   It's official! President Ronald  Reagan made it so
 in a proclamation issued in 1998! It's a day when
people are encouraged to spend some time with
senior citizens.
    Of course while all  'elderly people' are
Senior Citizens, not all Senior Citizen's are
    As a matter of fact the qualifications for
'Senior status' vary quite a bit.  If you use
eligibility for Social Security as the  guideline
then age 62 had been the determining factor for
many years.  But there are baseball leagues in
places like Florida where you aren't eligible to
play until you're 70! I'd still be a rookie there!
    The status, whatever the age, becomes
important when it comes to discounts!
And that's the great part! There are discounts
for restaurants, park admissions, movie tickets
and a whole host of other things. You might
even find a Parking space just for Seniors.
And, if you do, it's probably closer to the
place you're going! Some deals are offered
to folks as young as 55 although you usually start
getting them around age 62.
     You'll know when you're getting close.
     You'll begin hearing from AARP. It signs
up members once they're 50! I guess they're
Junior Senior Citizens!
     Of course the first requirement for
 attaining 'Senior Status' is to stay alive!
      I highly recommend that whether you're
going for 'Senior' or all the way to 'Elderly'
       So whether you've just received your
first AARP card or are remembering the
good old days when the flag still had 48
stars, hope you enjoy Senior Citizen Day
and that all your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On The Air!


              ON THE AIR

     For me it's a walk down Memory
Lane. Today is National Radio Day.
     The bulk of my 55 years in the
media have been in television. But
I got my start in radio. And I've got
a lot of memories from those "radio
      I learned a lot from the years I
spent as a DJ. How to Ad Lib for
instance! You had to think and
act fast when things didn't go just
      I remember reading a list of
Basketball scores. Suddenly, in
the middle of the list, I hit this one
( School name)  36
Pennsylvania School for the Dead, 20.
     What the wire service writer meant,
of course, was Pennsylvania School
for The Deaf.
      With my microphone still turned
on I said...."Gee, I'm surprised they
scored at all."
       Local radio was generally a lot
of fun back then. If you were
innovative you could do some neat
things. One day, at WBRX in Berwick,
I was working the control board when
a parade started coming down Main
Street. I grabbed an extra long
microphone cord, walked to a hallway
window, and did a "play by play" on
the line of march.
     Local radio was very local! I still
remember WAZL in Hazleton still
doing the Mine Working Schedules
for area coal mines and breakers when
I was getting started in 1959.
     We carried the New York Yankees
when I worked at WTHT (also in
Hazleton). When Yankee announcer
Mel Allan paused for stations on the
network to identify themselves, I'd
say "Thank you Mel" as though we
knew each other before giving our
call letters.
     Problem was, we were a "Daytime
Station" and had to go off the air at
dusk. But, sometimes, the ballgames
weren't over at dusk!  I'd have to
turn off the transmitter and run out
of the place as soon as possible to
avoid having to answer the telephone!
       I broadcast from a closet at
WNAK the day President Kennedy
was shot. That's where we kept our
Associated Press Teletype and it was
the fastest way for me to air the
latest developments.
       Our shining hour came just
before and in the weeks after the
1972 flood in Wyoming Valley when
a dozen area radio stations joined
forces to provide information on
the emergency. One headline read
"Radio Was The Hero Of The Hour!"
        So here's a tip of the hat to the
folks on and behind the microphones
then, and now, as we observe
National Radio Day!
        Hope the School for the Dead
is still playing strong...and that all
your NEWS is good!

         (WBRX Berwick 1965)


The "Wright" Stuff!



      It's OK to soar today!
In fact, in a way, it's expected! This
is National Aviation Day!
     Unlike some of the unusual
"holidays" I write about here, this
one is official! It was created by a
presidential proclamation by U.S.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt in
1939. I did not cover the story>
     August 19th was selected
because it's the Birthday of flight
pioneer Orville Wright!
     His first powered flight, in
1903 covered about 120 feet in
12 seconds.
     My grand daughter beat him
in both distance and duration
yesterday. And she's not quite
    She was aboard one of those
little helicopters at the amusement
park. It goes round and round,
covering a lot more than 120 yards,
and her "flight" lasted for a couple
     They have about a half dozen
of the copters for the kids to ride.
I think, years ago, one of them
used to be painted like Chopper
22. Since both area TV stations
gave up their helicopters they're
no longer represented on the
ride. Helicopters are expensive!
It even cost $1.25 to ride the
ones at the park!
    Ironically the only TV station
represented is WVIA, the public
station that never even had its own
hot air balloon!
   Being a DeCosmo, however, she
choose the TV chopper for her spin!
I was proud of her. Orville probably
would have been too! He'd have to
admit....she really got around!
    Hope you don't get too high
with today's celebration...and that
all your NEWS is good!  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Time For A Rhyme!



   This is another one of those 'Special Days'
that don't get much recognition. And, in this
case, I can understand why!
   August 18th is "Bad Poetry Day!"
   It was created by the folks at  ''
   The idea was to get some former High School
friends together to intentionally write some bad
poetry which they would then send to an old
High School teacher. Presumably their old
English teacher!
    I take issue with the day because I've been
writing poetry for many years! Long before I
became a DJ and then a news reporter I was
writing poetry for school newspapers or just
for fun. My Mom used to write poetry so
maybe I took after her.
    In later life I wrote some stuff designed to
get a laugh or two. I guess some people would
consider that  'bad poetry.'  But might not 'bad',
like 'beauty', be in the eye or, in this case, ear
of the beholder?
    For instance....can't you just picture the
scene when you take in this verse?
    "I shot an arrow
     into the air.
     It came to earth
     I know not   (swish!..Ah...thud!)"

    The last part, of course, is done as a sound
     OK. How about this one?
     "Little birdy
      In the cage.
      How I wonder
      What your"

       I call that 'blank verse.'
       So what do you think?
       Do I have it or do I have it?
       I can't send them to any of my
old English teachers!
        They're all dead!
        I actually wrote one aboard a train
 traveling through British Columbia as
 part of a poetry competition and took
 first place! One of these days, if I feel
 it fits a more serious Blog, I'll share it
 with you.
        But, since this is 'Bad Poetry Day'
 I'll close with this one written just for
 the occasion.
        'They're looking for bad poetry
         with words set down in verse.
         I'm sure they'll get some terrible ones.
         But mine may be the worst!
         I started with my mind all blank.
         Like being in a fog.
         I should have kept them to myself.
         But now they're in my Blog!

         So my advice to others
         is to write the way you should!
         Enjoy the day, May it go your way.
         And may all your NEWS be good!