Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ice Cream Memories!



    I had a surprising number of people
respond to a photo I posted on Facebook
Tuesday. The picture was that of an old
Grablick's Dairy truck which now rests
in a junk yard in Plains Township.
    Apparently it stirred up a lot of good
memories about the Pittston based
dairy which closed its doors years ago.
People remember stopping at the main
store in Pittston as well as its West
Pittston ice cream shop for a cone or
a tasty sundae.
      We used to swing by the West
Pittston outlet from time to time. The
building is still there. But now it's a
bank. There's something really wrong
with that! I wonder if they're hiding
away any half gallons in the vault?
      I suppose we all have some sweet
ice cream memories. When I was
growing up we had a dairy bar within
four blocks of my house whether you
went north, south, east, or west. I
traveled in each direction!
      And those were just the dairy bars.
There was an old fashion candy shop
only two blocks away where I could
get an ice cream cone for a dime, 5
cents worth of licorice or some other
sweet stuff that kept my dentists busy
for years to come, and check out the
latest comic books at the same time.
They were ten cents too!
       We're lucky enough to still have
some good ice cream shops around
our area. Fearing they might go the
way of Grablick's I stop by as often
as possible to give them some
business! Of course a dime won't do
it anymore. But I don't mind shelling
out a little bit for ice cream! I like it!
In fact, I've hit the freezer twice
while writing this Blog!
        Hope you've got good memories,
fresh ice cream, and that all your NEWS
is good!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chew On This!


               CHEW ON THIS!

          OK gang! It's the last day of September.
 So let's send the  month out with a bang! Well...
let's make it a Pop! You see September 30th is
Chewing Gum Day!
       Nobody seem to know the origin of this unique
 "holiday." But chewing has been around for a very
 long time. The  first chewing gum making machine
was patented by Thomas  Adams in 1871.
       He's the guy who came up a licorice flavored
gum called Black Jack!
       Of course there's all kinds of flavored gum these
days in addition to sugar free chewing and bubble
gum. I still get in trouble when I chew my gum
around my wife. She says I chew "too loud" and
sometimes "like a cow."
       It  doesn't sound that loud inside my head and,
anyway, cows don't chew gum!
       I began chewing gum to avoid waste. It came
in my pack of Baseball Cards.
       I think chewing gum is good for people. It keeps
some from smoking or eating too much. And think
of all its other features!
       Gum can be used to plug leaks (temporally of
       Some gum still comes wrapped in tin foil. That
wrapping can complete electrical connections! In the
days before circuit breakers gum wrappers used in
place of a dead fuse have kept the lights on in some
houses (usually just before they burned to the
       And there's always some gum around. Always
in stores and often under the seats in stadiums!
      Gum has only three natural enemies. Mothers,
wives, and  teachers! Chewers should try to avoid all
three and never get caught blowing a bubble in the
vicinity of any of them!
      You might want to celebrate the day with some
Double Mint or, perhaps, some Double Bubble!
      Remember, though, should you come across a
Mom, Wife, or a teacher try to dispose of your gum
properly and avoid swallowing it!
       Hope your chewing gum keeps its flavor on the
bed post  overnight and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, September 28, 2015




      We lost one of our neighbors this
year. Oh, he's fine. He just sold his
home and moved away. I miss him.
He had a wonderful quality you
don't find in every neighbor. He
didn't like Pears!
       And yet, he had a Pear tree in
yard. He thought it was something
else when it was planted. So, the pears
it produced were available to us!
       Enter our new neighbors.
Unfortunately they like pears. Still, we
were told we were welcome to
a few for our own use. I suppose you'd
call that Sharecropping!
        I picked a few pair of pears
as the fruit ripened. Then, last week, our
new neighbors invited either family, or
friends.... or migrant workers, to have a
go at the tree. They swarmed round
the branches like bees around a hive and
pretty much gathered anything growing
below the eight foot mark. I think they
took down a couple branches in the
       The lower branches still hold a
few growths that claim to be pears. But
they're small and malformed. I'm fearful
they may actually be "Pods" like they
featured in the movie "Invasion Of The
Body Snatchers" so I'm going to let them
       There's still plenty of good pears on
the tree. But it looks like most of "my share"
are just out of reach! I'm sure I'll be able to
gather another half dozen or so using, of
course, by best ballet technique!
       About 80 more are scattered on
the ground. Since the neighbor's dog
uses that area for his daily needs I've
decided to let the Groundhog have
those. He's a fellow sharecropper!
       Hope there's some good Pears
at the market this week and that all
your NEWS is good!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Are You Reading This?


    As a former news reporter this day has special
meaning to me.
    September 28th is "Ask A Stupid Question Day."
    It was established by teachers back in the 80's
who were trying to encourage students to ask more
questions in the classroom.
    It has often been said there is no such thing as a
stupid question. I would have to disagree. Some of
my colleagues in the media prove that on an all too
regular basis. Not that it's limited to them.
    I often wondered why ,for instance, when you've
checked yourself into an emergency room, the first
thing the doctor asks is "How are you?"
   How about the guy who drives up in a bright,
shiny car with the purchase sticker still on the
window who is greeted with questions such as
"Is that car new" or "is that yours?"
    How about the boss who sees you come in
10 minutes after your starting time and asks
 "You're late, aren't you?"
    Still those in the media usually get the Stupid
Question Award.
    You see them at the scene of a fire, usually the
 "Cub reporter" approaches the home owner and
 asks "How are you doing?" I'm surprised more
 haven't been answered with a slap upside the
    Of course there's also the "hopeful reporter"
 who asks the alleged killer "Did you do it?"
 They're hoping for a stupid answer such as
 "Sure I did and I wanted you to be the first
 to know."
    In any case today all bets are off! You can
ask anything you want. In fact it is suppose
to be stupid! So ask away!
    Hope you get a sensible answer and that
all your NEWS is good!

(Stupid is as stupid does: Forest Gump)

I'm Crushed!


             I'M CRUSHED!

   That settles it! There must be a "Holiday" for
everything known to man! Unknowingly, I've
been "observing" the latest I've found pretty
near every day!
    You see September 27th., is "Crush A Can
Day." I kid you not!
    People crush cans for a number of reasons.
For some it relieves stress! They stomp on the
can as a way of dealing with the frustrations of
the day.
    I, on the other hand, do it for financial gain!
I can get a lot more cans into a garbage bag if
they're crushed. More cans equal more weight.
   When I get a garbage bag full of crushed cans
I take it to the recycling center and trade them in
for cash! It's better than working! Last time I
made nearly five bucks! If I only drank more I
could get rich! (Soda by the way!)
    While the "holiday" itself surprised me I was
just as stunned to learn my method of flatting the
aluminum is not the only way to do it. And the
other is rather impressive!
    Here is the way it is described on one Web site:
1. Fill a large pot with three quarts of cold water.
2. Put one tablespoon of water into an empty
aluminum soda can and heat it on the stove until it
3. Let it boil for 30 seconds and then carefully
 remove it with tongs.
4. Invert the can and quickly dip it in the pot of
cold water. The can will collapse immediately,
impressing women, captivating small children and
frightening the family dog.
    I may have to give this a try, although we don't
have a family dog. Not sure if that makes a
difference or not.
   Anyhow, which ever method you decide to use,
 I encourage you to celebrate by crushing all the
 cans you can find.
   Hope they're empty...and that all your NEWS is

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Quest!


               THE QUEST!

    Like Don Quixote and his faithful
companion Sancho my wife and I set
out on our annual quest yesterday.
    Each year when the calendar proclaims
Autumn and the apples are ripe for
picking we begin our search for Cider
and Donuts! Sometimes we find them
separately. Often we'll find them offered
    Such was the case yesterday our top
down "back roads" journey took us to
Ritter's Apple Orchard and Cider Mill
in Lackawanna County.
    The operators have turned the place
into a Fall destination with crates filled
with pumpkins, pears, and all sorts of
apples. There are pies and jellies . And
there are donuts! Pumpkin donuts, Apple
donuts, and Apple Cider donuts with
cinnamon sugar!
    We opted for the latter with a pint of
Apple cider apiece for a chaser!
     Kids can come and try the corn maze
or romp through a small barn filled with
bales of hay. Another popular attraction
features an over sized sling shot where
they can hurl apples......not at Windmills,
but at targets.
    This is no Impossible Dream. It's one
of the reasons we son enjoy Fall right here
in northeastern Pennsylvania! Add some
colorful Fall foliage soon and you won't
want to be anywhere else!
     Hope your quest is as successful as
ours and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's A Jungle Out There!



      I awoke to what sounded like
a tank not far from my house. For
just a moment I though we were
under attack. Like in that movie
Red Dawn!
     Bu why would anybody
attack my neighborhood? Unless
it was some kind of brigade set
out to capture feral which
case I would immediately enlist!
    Whatever was roaring its engine
close by, someone had fired it up
about 7am. As most of my regular
readers already know I don't accept
mornings that begin before 8:30 or
    I carefully glanced out the window
and found that it was the nearby
"jungle" that was under attack! I guess
I wouldn't be surprised to find
"gorillas" in there!
    There is a dense growth of trees,
bushes, and weeds just across the street
from my back door that separates our
development from an Air Conditioning
     It has, all too often, become a stalking
ground for some of those cats I mentioned,
a skunk now and then, and trash tossed
from vehicles by people whose litter bags
must already be filled. It's the area where
I spotted the bear last year.
     The "tank" I heard turned out to be
one of two pieces of equipment clearing
some of that jungle. I'm not sure how
wide their target area may be. But those
workers can start as early as they want or
even work through the night if they'd like
to clear the whole parcel!
      Hope they pave that jungle...and that
all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Please Pass The Turkey!



     Wow! How time flies! Seems like just
yesterday we were noting the arrival of
Autumn. Now here we are, the 4th Thursday
in September and it's Thanksgiving!
      You probably thought it was scheduled
for November! Well, you're partially right.
      Today is Thanksgiving. But only for
about 3,000 people. Most of them are right
here in Pennsylvania. And they're all
Schwenkfelders! For the record, that's
not some sort of hot dog!
     The Schwenkfelders are the descendants
of a small Protestant sect that sprang up in
Germany around the time of the Reformation.
One group arrived in September of 1734. They
spent one day,  September 24, expressing their
gratitude to God for having delivered them from
persecution. Since then they have observed
September 24th as Thanksgiving!
      I, for one, am all in favor of an extra day
of Turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin
pie! And, since the Schwenkfelders ranks
seem to be dwindling, I 'd like to suggest the
rest of us come to their aid by joining in the
     Hope there's lots of leftovers and that all
your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, September 22, 2015




      Regular readers of my daily Blog will
undoubtedly remember my refusal to recognize
the autumnal equinox  as the end of Summer.
Still, officially, Autumn begins today. I intend
to fight it. If we all get together maybe we
can do something.
      First we'll need a lot of lights! Turn them
on. All of them!
      I stepped outside yesterday around 7PM and I
couldn't find the sun! Maybe there was an eclipse I
wasn't told about. But, barring that, I suspect that
evening had begun without my consent. That's
one of those things the scientists pull on us to
begin Fall. We need to keep things bright!
      Next, about those little caterpillars, the
"Woolly Bears." They're starting to show up
here and there. We probably can't stop them. But if
they show up with those dark bands around their
bodies.....paint them white! That may help keep
the weather mild a little longer.
      We can't do much about the leaves changing
color. Something about their Chlorophyll. I
don't know how toothpaste is involved. But I think
that's the stuff in my Colgate!
      When they do change color a lot of tourists
come to see them. So I'm thinking we spray them
with Shellac as soon as they're at their brightest
then glue them to their trees! That should keep
the season from going from bad to worse!
       Leave those leaves!
       Hope there's a long, warm, Indian Summer,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Appreciate Your Pachyderm!



   This is a very BIG day!
   September 22nd is "Elephant Appreciation Day!"
   It was created in 1996 by Mission Media.
   It's founder, Wayne Hepburn, received a paperweight
of elephants on parade from his daughter as a gift. He,
according to holidayinsights,com, became fascinated by
them and started to collect books and trinkets featuring
   I have seen a lot of animals this past week.
   Many make good pets. Many just make a mess!
   I have enough trouble taking care of myself although
my wife does have a few fish.
    Other critters have tried to come into my life this least in passing. We've got the usual
herd of cats that don't belong to anybody but
keep coming around. Neighbors have reported another
bear in the area although I haven't seen it yet. And a
rather huge groundhog has been enjoying the pears
that have fallen from the tree across the street.
     But I haven't seen any elephants! We use to see
an elephant or two. But only "seasonally."
     They came during "Circus season" when
Ringling Brothers or one of the other big shows
come to town. Apparently that's coming to an
end as Ringling Brothers is giving up the
Pachyderms. I'll bet those big beasts will miss
seeing the fans when they're put out to
pasture. After all, they never forget!
       Anyhow supporters of "Elephant
Appreciation Day" suggest you pay a visit to
your local zoo to show your appreciation.
        The 'local zoo' in Scranton is long gone
as is "Toni" the elephant that was once its star
attraction. The next closest animal preserve lists
50 species....but no elephants!
          So, unless you're willing to travel to
find an elephant to appreciate, I can only think
of one alternative.
         You'' just have to hug a Republican!
         Hope you don't work for peanuts and
that all your news is good!




     My wife and I were on the road
again Sunday evening. But, in a
sense we were traveling incognito.
      It's not that I object to being
recognized after some 56 years in
the media. Quite the contrary. I'm
flattered by the attention and
honored to be know or remembered
by so many people!
      And since we were headed to
another Film Festival to show the
movie "All In Time," in which I
have a small part, you'd think I
would welcome the recognition
from my first movie part. Indeed
I do!
      But the Producers told me this
was to be an "informal" appearance.
We were to dress in something
casual. I got a couple casual items
out and was about set to go. My
wife made me change!
      She didn't see to feel the
sports ware I had selected would
go over very well.
      Oh, perhaps I should mention
the festival was being held on the
campus of Rutgers University.
Seems their football team had a
very bad day in University Park
on Saturday.
      Hope they don't know....."WE
ARE.....PENN STATE.....and that
all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Moo Goo


            MOO GOO

       Before all of you start speculating
the title of today's Blog does not reflect
the first "words" spoken by my 7-week-
old  grandson! He's still considering his
first comments.
       I don't know which came first. The
idea or the movie. But the first mention
of our hunger came while "55 Days At
Peking" was showing on Turner Movie
       Whatever the impetus, we decided
to call out for Chinese. China Garden,
located in Plains Township, delivers in
our area and we have one of their menus
stored away near our phone. That seems
especially appropriate since it seems to
be as long as most of those old telephone
       Each item has Chinese characters
followed by their English counterparts.
Although many of the English names
still look like Chinese to me.
       One page features pictures of some
of the most popular dishes. That's where
we found the  "Moo Goo Gai Pan. And that
was only one of the exotic offerings." There
was "Happy Families," and "Dragon and
Phoniex" along what seemed like a hundred
offerings. I opted for the "Seafood Delight."  
       I only ate about half of my serving.
And, yes, I was hungry again an hour
later! So, I ate my Fortune Cookie! The
paper inside predicted..."Soon you will be
on top of the world." Guess I'm headed
for Everest! (Well there is a new movie
about the mountain!)
       Hope there's some ice cream in the
freezer and that all your NEWS is good!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Night Lights!



      My grandson is playing High
School again this year so my wife and
I are trying to get to as many of his
games as possible to show our support.
     We were under those Friday Night
Lights last night as Holy Redeemer
took on the Black Knights of Lake
      It was not a pretty sight! Football
is a "contact sport" and the boys from
Lake Lehman had a substantial weight
advantage over the Redeemer players.
I can't tell you how much bigger they
were except to say I thought I saw the
logo "Mack" on several of their shirts.
Perhaps it was "Freightliner." But,
whatever, they're a mighty big lot!
      But let's keep this commentary
positive. Let's focus on the high
       First, my grandson's team
showed up. The cheerleaders did a
great job. And the Lake Lehman
Band sounded pretty good. Other
than that the French fries at the refreshment
stand pretty much cover the high
       Of course,while the score doesn't
reflect it, you've got to give the
underdogs team a lot of credit for never
giving up! Holy Redeemer only scored
once. But the team played hard right
down to the second the last buzzer
sounded. And that determination
makes them winners whatever the
      Hope they keep that attitude...and
that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A New Start!

            A NEW START!

      I want to thank each and every one
of you who took a moment out of your
day to wish me a Happy Birthday
yesterday! I read every greeting and
tried to answer them all personally
although they started coming in faster
than I could reply!
      I've had some interesting Birthdays
over the years. I remember having our
tour group serenade me with "Happy
Birthday" as we arrived in Switzerland
a few years ago.
     Yesterday was a bit different. For
the first time in a lot of years I spent
the bulk of my day at home.
     You could say it was a Birthday
Blessing! My wife and I got to spend
the day watching my 6-week-old baby
Grandson! It was the first time he
visited Grandpa and Grannie's house.
     I'm not sure he was terribly impressed.
He slept a lot and didn't seem to have
anything to offer to the conversation.
     In between naps and feedings I read
your Birthday greetings, took a couple
phone calls from family and friends, and,
with the help of a magnifying glass, read
a Birthday card from my oldest and
closest friend. He enjoys filling in every
bit of available space on a card or letter.
So reading them is sometimes a challenge.
     This time it was the back side of the
envelope that caught my attention. Yes,
he writes there too!
      He reminded me that I was born on
a Thursday and that I was born at home.
That's probably because I wasn't sick
and didn't need a hospital.
       He also notes that, as of my Birthday,
I had lived 26, 663 days. I could use a
"do over" on a few of those!
       Hope the next 364 are happy and that
all your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another Orbit In The Books!



    Well it's happen again! I have completed
another trip around the sun. It's my 73rd Lap!
If I lived on Mars I'd only be about 36 and a
half. One year on Mars is 687 days!
     My celebration actually started last
Saturday. My grand daughter Kara's Birthday
is September 14th. Since mine is so close we
usually try to get everybody together to
celebrate both.
     After Wednesday though I wasn't sure
I'd finish my orbit!
     Faced with a beautiful day my wife and
I put the top down in the Miata and headed
north towards Watkins Glen, New York.
We had no specific plan. Maybe a cruise
on a tour boat. Maybe a stop at a winery.
     But my wife surprised me with a request
to walk along the famous Watkins Glen
Waterfalls Trail! Neither of us walk a lot
and neither does very well up hill. The
Falls Trail is very much uphill!
     While the entire trail was out of the
question we agreed to go part way. And
so we did. Step by step. Foot by foot.
Stopping every ten yards or so to take a
photo (and catch our breath!). I was
beginning to wonder if I'd finish my orbit
and make my Birthday when we reached
the part of the trail that goes behind
Cascade Falls. That was far enough for
us to declare victory.
     Our pride was somewhat shattered by
the next hiker to observed we had
walked up 128 steps to that point!
About a half inch on the trail map. But
then I remembered.....we had to go back
down! That's 256 steps in anybody's
book. Or about a full inch on the map!
     I would make my Birthday. And
proudly at that! Hope one of my presents
is liniment, and that all your NEWS is