Thursday, March 31, 2016



    There's an old building on
what you might call a "side
street" in Wilkes-Barre that
aroused my curiosity the first
time I spotted it. It's on East
Thomas Street.
     The siding is deceiving.
The structure could be mistaken
for something built in the last
20 years or so. Until you take a
good look at the front!
      There's no siding there. Just
old wood and the unmistakable
form of a ticket booth!
       I first happened by the
building a few years ago when
someone was selling a large
metal gate that completely
covered the front when fully
extended. Someone said it had
been a movie theater at one
time. But that's about all I heard.
      I've always loved finding
old theaters. They bring back
memories from the days when
neighborhood theaters could be
found in....well....neighborhoods
all over the place! If you look
closely enough you can still find
some here are there.
     As noted in previous Blogs I
used to hang out at my old
neighborhood theaters where
Roy Rogers and the Bowlery
Boys ruled the big screen, "Commando
Cody" or Batman forced me back
each week to see how they survived
their Cliff Hanger, and there was
always a couple cartoons! 
     Last week my travels took me
by this old theater in Wilkes-
Barre once again. I was surprised
it was still standing. At least most
of it.
     Thanks to an old WYOU
colleague (and film critic), Al
Brocavich, I was steered to a web
site that identified the place as an
old Nickelodeon called the
"Crystal Theater" where silent
films were once shown. That's a
bit before my time. But still
interesting to me.
     According to that site the
section of the building where the
screen once stood was destroyed
when the roof collapsed under
the weight of heavy snow a few
ago. The owner, who has since
passed away, salvaged the
remainder of the building which,
thankfully, includes the historic
ticket booth.
      Sitting idle these days the
interior of the one time movie
palace now seems to be a storage
place for junk. I wouldn't think
its future would be too bright.
       I'd like to see the building
survive. Especially that
classic ticket booth where
people once purchased their
admission to excitement and
entertainment at the Crystal
       Hope it's preserved and
that all your NEWS is good.




    OK Class! Put on your lab coat and safety
glasses and get ready to celebrate!
  It's March 31st. It's Bunsen Burner Day!
  And today we mark the birthday of its
inventor, German chemist Robert Wilhelm
Eberhard von Bunsen!
   My Chemistry set didn't come with a
Bunsen Burner when I was a kid. I had to
use a candle to heat the chemicals I had
mixed together down in the basement.
   I heated it for about 15 minutes before
it blew up and wrecked my set. Fortunately
I didn't burn down the house!
   Years later I found myself in a High
School Chemistry Class.
   Our teacher, Mr. Scarcella, had a Bunsen
Burner to heat the test tube he was using
for the day's experiment.
   I was surprised when it, like mine, blew
up! But it only took him about 30 seconds!
  For years there was a small piece of
glass embedded in the ceiling of that
classroom. I often wondered if the students
that followed  noticed it or wondered
how it got there.
   I learned a lot from that lesson.
   First, Bunsen Burners can create
explosions far faster than candles.
   Second, I was not meant to be a
   I'm sure, however, that many of
today's modern scientific advancements
were born in a basement or classroom
somewhere with the aid of a Bunsen
   I wonder if you could cook a steak
on one of them?
   Hope you'll celebrate safely and that
all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016



   It's March 30th everybody! And that means
it's "National Doctor's Day!"  It's a day set
aside to show your appreciation to all those
physicians who try to keep us well or make us
better when we're sick!
   There was a time when I thought I'd like to
be a Doctor. Then I found out how long you
had to go to school! I changed my mind!
    Even though I didn't become a physician
my wife and I do support a number of them.
We called one and visited another just
yesterday! We have undoubtedly helped
them buy cars, boats, and, who knows,
maybe even, mansions!
    In my case as I've grown older my
 "collection" of doctors has grown substantially!
    At this point I see four on a regular basis.
And that doesn't include my dentist who, of
course, is technically a doctor.
    I've also had the "pleasure" of submitting
myself to the expertise of about three others
who are considered specialists. Two more
and I'll have enough for a baseball team.
My wife may have enough for her own
Football squad!
    Our family doctor is the most understandable
of the lot. Most of the others speak in technical
and medical terms that I don't understand and
forget how to pronounce minutes after they've
talked with me.
    Have you ever noticed when a doctor walks
into the examining room he usually asks "How
are you?" Why would we be there if the
answer was "Great!"?
    Unlike some of the other unusual "holidays"
I've mentioned from time to time this one is
     The day marks the anniversary of the first use
of general anesthesia in surgery. The first National
Doctor's Day was celebrated in 1991.
     On March 30, 1958, the United States House of
Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating
Doctors' Day. In 1990, the congress and the senate
approved legislation establishing National Doctors
Day. The resolution designating March 30 as
National Doctors' Day was signed by President
George Bush.
    Since it's too late to mail cards we should all just
 call our doctors and wish them well.
   Odds are you'll get the Answering Service so you'll
just have to leave a message.
  Hope you're feeling well and that all your NEWS
is good!

Monday, March 28, 2016


          TANKS A LOT!

     I suspect when most people
think about the town of Berwick
in Columbia County two things
pop into their mind. Wise Potato
Chips and Christmas Boulevard,
a seasonal display that draws
people to see a mile long holiday
display every December.
     There was a time thought when
the Borough was know for the
production of Stuart Army Tanks.
It was during World War Two.
      The American Car and
Foundry Company, which was
well know for manufacturing
railroad cars, was turned into a
Defense Plant where thousands of
these tanks were produced.
       More than 9,000 area people
were employed their to make those
tanks and get them into the battle
fields. My Dad was one of them.
       Dad was a Projectionist and
Theatrical Stage Hand by
profession. But during the war
many people who did not serve
in the armed forces helped our
country in so called "Defense
       Two weeks ago one of those
tanks, now owned and fully
restored by a gentleman from
Oregon, rolled back into Berwick
as part of a celebration and salute
to all the people who built them.
       My Dad and many of his
coworkers during those dark
days of World War Two are
long gone now. But I think they'd
be happy to know they and their
work is being remembered!
       Thanks (tanks) a lot for all
you did! You made all our NEWS


Sunday, March 27, 2016



    Easter is all about the empty
tomb. But I would be remiss if
I did not report my empty basket.
In fact, there wasn't even a
     Every year we get chocolate,
in some form, for the kids at
Easter. But in the past we, or
rather my wife, has also set out
two small baskets for ourselves.
      This year we decided those
"grown up baskets" weren't
really needed since we usually
ended up some Easter candy
shared by others. I was OK with
the idea.
       Yet, ironically, I realized as
I lounged around at home after
the family feast at my daughter's
house that I had not consumed
even one piece of chocolate on
this Easter holiday! That's a first
for me. At least as far back as I
can remember.
       That's not to say I didn't
have sweets! My grand daughter
came to dinner with a desert that's
come to be known as "Dad's Pie"
over the years. It's base is made
up of Eagle Brand Condensed
Milk which, in my opinion, has
it all over any Chocolate Bunny
ever produced.
         It's during that evening
lounging that the chocolate
was usually my snack of choice.
But thanks to our church the
absence of those Easter treats
was not a problem. You see the
folks at the church brought a
whole lot of pastries for a light
breakfast between our two
Easter services. This year they
must have expected a battalion
of soldiers to show up because
there were a lot of pastries left
         We were urged to take
some home and I felt it my
duty to help out. So, as I lounged,
I devoured a delicious "whatever"
and never missed a bunny head!
The basket may have been empty.
But my tummy is full!
          Hope yours is as well and
that all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, March 26, 2016


            THE STAMPEDE!

    It must have been this way in the
day of the Buffalo! A sudden noise
and, in less than the blink of an eye,
the herd begins to charge. They
called it a stampede!
    Yesterday they called it an Easter
Egg Hunt! There were no Buffalo.
Just a couple hundred kids waiting
to charge into the field where
volunteers had scattered plastic
Easter eggs and candy.
     I visited two of these events.
One in Plains Township hosted by
the Lions Club and another in
Wyoming sponsored by the
Borough itself.
     Anxious to get some good
video I ventured into the fields
where the eggs awaited the charge
of the kids. That's when I realized
it really doesn't matter what or
who is running over you! Trampled
is trampled anyway you look at it!
     The wise move, I decided, was
to move off to the side just a bit and
allow whatever critters came by the
right of way! That worked out well.
For the hunters and for me!
      Hope you've gathered your
eggs, have a Happy Easter, and that
all your NEWS is good!



Friday, March 25, 2016



   By now you've heard the news that
Earl Hamner Jr., the man who was
responsible for creating "The Waltons"
TV series, passed away on Thursday.
    My wife and I were devoted fans
of the program. So ,while on vacation
in 1973, we decided we'd try to find
the actual "Walton's home."
     Thanks to a magazine article which
actually pictured the house we knew
our search would take us to Schuyler,
Virginia. While this tiny town is on
the map I must admit I thought I
heard "Dueling Banjos" as I
negotiated the curves and hills
along Rockfish River Road which
lead, eventually, to our destination.
       We came across a small school
and realized the house pictured in
that magazine was just across the
street. A man standing in the yard
confirmed we had found the right
place and a moment later the real
"Mrs. Walton", Mrs. Earl Hamner
came over to greet us. The man
turned out to be one of her sons
who was in the process of moving
in with her.
      We had our 3-year-old and 5-
month-old daughters with us and
had come, of course, uninvited.
But Mrs. Hamner promptly invited
us inside where we chatted about
the show and her real family. She
was a wonderful host.
      A couple of things stand out
from that visit. While Schuyler
is located in a mountainous area,
the only "mountain" near the house
was the slight hill that made up
the back yard! There was a small
driveway. Mrs. Hamner pointed
out small pieces of polished
graphite that could be found on
the ground everywhere!
        If you stop to think about it
Earl Jr. could have done all his
writing without ever buying a
        Mrs. Hamner was such a
wonderful host we came back
the following day to bring her
       That's the last we saw her,
or Schuyler until two years ago
when we found it again, this
time with a GPS, while on a
return trip to Florida. The area
had changed very little since we
first found our way there in 73.
        The school has been turned
into a "Walton's Museum" which
we really enjoyed. The house is
still there. But no one lives there
now and, although a small admission
will get you in, we decided to
rely on the memories of our original
visit when the family Matriarch
took us in as though we were just
more of her treasured children.
        Thanks to his novels and
reruns of the "The Waltons" the
stories, likely formed from childhood
in that home, will be around for us
to enjoy for years to come. Thanks
Earl and Goodnight John Boy!
         Hope you have a good night
too and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Batman Vs. Superman!


   That big Blockbuster movie
pitting two of our greatest
Superheroes is scheduled to
open today.
    But, in reality, Clark Kent
and Bruce Wayne were already
fighting it out... at the box office
back in the 1940's!
    Turner Classic movies took
me back to those days on Wednesday
night when the channel featured
several chapters of the Batman and
Superman serials that ran at my
neighborhood movie house every
Saturday afternoon.
    They even threw in samples
of the Green Hornet and Buck
Rodgers as well.
     It was often "rough at the
Diamond" when I stopped in to
see the weekly cliff hangers. The
Diamond Theater was the smallest
movie "palace" in my hometown.
It featured the usual run of weekend
westerns, week old pop corn, and a
rest room you did everything you
could to avoid.
     But it always had the serials so
that's where I went to watch Clark
run into the bushes to return as
Superman or Bruce and his young
pal to come out of the Bat Cave as
Batman and Robin.
     I was too young to realize that
anybody in his right mind could
tell that thin mask did little to hide
Robin's true identity. And without
the benefits of today's special effects
Superman had to be turned into a
cartoon every time you saw him take
to the air and fly. But it looked real
enough to me!
      I believe Superman won that
original confrontation...grossing
more in ticket sales than Batman.
      The new epic may set it's own
record for ticket sales. But, in my
mind, it can never replace those
Saturday afternoons in that dark
neighborhood theater where black
and white was the norm and every
6-gun fired 30 or more shots.(By
the way, all of them bounced off
Superman's chest!)
       Hope the movie is great, the
popcorn fresh....and that all your
NEWS is good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


             STEAK OUT!

     I was minding my own business.
I was taking my wife home from a visit
to my son's house when I realized my
route would take me right by my
favorite kielbasa supplier. Plains
Meat Market is one of those family
operated stores like you used to find
in every town. They've won awards
for the quality of their kielbasa and I
figured it would just be good sense
to stop by and get a couple links.
      I've gone in often enough.
Especially around the holidays when
the smoked kielbasa is in great
demand. You can usually tell I've
carried it in my car for about three
days after it's been transported.
     I placed my order. But as it was
being filled I allowed my eyes to
wander just a bit. There was more
than kielbasa in that display case!
      Maybe it was the atmosphere.
Maybe the very mild temperatures
outside. But somehow a couple
cuts of meat in that case seemed
to call out to me. They were, I was
told, Delmonico's! "Buy me" they
said. "Buy me!"  I never could
resist a talking steak!
       45 Minutes later the Easter
kielbasa was safely stored away in
the refrigerator and I found myself
removing the protective cover from
our grill. After all, we had to eat
something before Easter!
        It taste like summer! Hope
there's a lot more to come and
that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


             OK WITH OK!

    It's a common word with me.
And probably with you as well! And
it's OK to say "OK." In fact today,
March 23rd., is "OK Day!"
    It started one day in 1839, when
a few newspaper editors in Boston
were joking around. "They had a lot
of abbreviations that they were using
and made up on the spot and OK was
an abbreviation for 'All Correct.'
   Soon, OK was being used for the
telegraph, like an early form of the
LOLs and OMGs sent in text messages
    The expression became so popular
they even used it for the name of a
Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Of
course things didn't work out OK
for Clantons when they ran into
the Earps and Doc Holliday there
in 1881. I guess you could say the
Claytons got KO'ed at the OK that
    "We heard the term A-OK a lot
during the early days of the Space
race. Some sources contend it may
be the most widely used expression
in the world. That's OK with me!
     March 23, 2011, was the first-ever
OK Day. 162 years to the day since
those two little letters were printed
together in the Boston Morning Post.
     Hope everything's OK with you
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, March 21, 2016


            GOOFING AROUND!

     Saint Patrick's Day and all of its related
parades and celebrations seem to get all the
attention during March.
      That's too bad because there are a lot of
other things well worth celebrating in this
month which heralds the arrival of Spring.
       Take today, for instance, This is
"National Goof Off Day!" It was created
by Monica Dufour of Davison Mi. and her
grandfather. He had a radio show and was
encouraging people to call in with ideas.
She disguised her voice and called with
a suggestion that there be a "Goof-Off Day."
A newspaper heard the call and printed a
story supporting the idea. So there you
have it!
    I've been rehearsing for this day for
many years! I think I've just about got it
down to a science.
        They did a survey a few years back
and found that most of those who
"celebrated" this unusual holiday did so
by playing video games.
       That seemed a bit strenuous for me.
       I elected to just sit around as much
as possible and do pretty much nothing!
       I would have no objections to
extending this observance to a week or
more. In fact "National Goof Off Month"
seems to offer a lot of potential to my
way of thinking.
      I would have given you some advance
warning. But, I was goofing off!.
       Hope you'll mark it on your
calendar and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


         THE BIG HAM!

    No! This is not an autobiography!
This is the story of a search. My search.
    As most of your already know,
shopping is not on top of my "fun things
to do list." That said, I found myself
volunteering to go to the market
yesterday to search for some pineapple
juice with which to combat my 4-week-
old cough.
     Then came those words I, and
probably most men, always fear will
follow such a decision. "Well as long
as you're going check the shopping
list on the refrigerator." And then my
wife added "I can probably trust you to
pick out a ham."
      The ham in question will serve as
the main menu item on next week's
Easter menu for our annual family
gathering. "See what they look like
and check the prices," she said.
       I've always taken a pretty good
look at any meat we're buying when
we're shopping together. Admittedly
I tend to picture it totally cooked on
the grill and ready to eat. I may have
even looked at the price from time to
time. But not very closely.
      In this case weight was also an
important consideration as we usually
have a pretty decent crowd at our
holiday gathering.
      Let's get back to "looking" at the
ham. Has anybody else noticed that
most of the hams set out for the
Easter rush are packed in gold and
purple aluminum? While I have been
a mild mannered reporter for many
of my years I never did get that X-Ray
vision that my colleague Clark Kent
      Fortunately one bin was filled
with hams that were not hidden by
their wrappers. Of course, they all
looked alike!
      I picked one up, called home,
and described the ham I was holding,
hoping for immediate approval. While
it fit the price requirements it proved
a little short on weight. So I spent
the next couple minutes with the cell
phone in one hand, trying to pick up
the biggest hams I could find in the
     Having finally selected the
largest available I was given the OK
and made my way to check out where
the clerk used a hand scanner to ring
up my ham rather than trying to lift
it. It's safely home now ready for the
weekend feast!
      Hope I can lift my fork.......and
that all your NEWS is good!



   If you're not reading my Blog
today I'll understand. You're
probably not around. And I want
to assure you I will send help. As
soon as I can figure out where to
send it!
    As most of us know March
20th is a very important day.
Spring? No! I'm not writing
about that. It's "Alien Abduction
Day!" Or "Extraterrestrial
Abduction Day."
    It was founded in 2008 at the
Toronto Alien Festival. That, in
itself, could be confusing since
most of us would be "aliens" in
   In reality though this is the day
we figure UFO's may be everywhere,
looking to abduct humans. There
are people who claim they've
been abducted by aliens and taken
away in flying saucers. I believe a
few of them are now on Facebook
posting political opinions.
    I have definitely worked with a
couple people who had very likely
been abducted by extraterrestrials.
Unfortunately they returned to
become news directors and
consultants! One of my cameramen
always seemed pretty far out there
     So enjoy the official beginning
of Spring. But keep one eye on the
sky....just in case! If they should
get you........Hope you enjoy the
trip and that all your NEWS is



Friday, March 18, 2016



   Forget the calendar and the
Groundhog! We're all looking
for signs of Spring.
    The Crocus have popped
up through the ground in our
backyard. That's a pretty good
sign even though the weather
folks are talking about snow
on Sunday.
    But, if everything has gone
as expected one of the surest
signs of Spring takes place in
California early on the morning
of March 19th.
     This is the day the Swallows 
come back to Capistrano! There's
even a song about it but you've
probably got to be 60 or over to
remember it.
      At dawn on St. Joseph’s Day,
that's March 19th, the little birds
arrive and begin rebuilding their
mud nests, which cling to the ruins
of the Great Stone Church of San
Juan Capistrano.
      I guess the closest thing we've
got around here is the geese flying
North. I heard some the other day
but I never actually saw them.
       Hope the Swallows are back,
the geese are going North, and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, March 17, 2016


           DOG GONE!

     Regular readers of this log
are well aware I've had a lot of
cats and a few skunks visiting
my front and back yards from
time to time.
      But when I answered the
knocking at our porch door
Wednesday night I was more
than just a little surprised to
find a huge dog waiting
outside! There was a touch of
fright when I confronted the
visitor and realized his heritage
included more than just a little
Pit Bull!
     I tried the old "Go home"
command. But the K9 kept
hanging around our street. I
had to go out to run an errand
and had to make sure the animal
moved from in front of my car
so I could pull away. I shouted
"Go" and it seemed to whine  as
he moved. But only about 20
     When I returned some 45
minutes later I found a Police
cruiser parked in front of my
house. Seems the dog had been
trying to get in a broken window
in the house across the street from
mine. The new neighbor has two
kids and was concerned the dog
might get in and cause them
     The Officer agreed to take
the dog to the SPCA as long as
someone could get him into the
car. Another neighbor was able
to use some dog treats to get
him inside. Just about the time
the police were pulling away
someone yelled they thought the
owner lived in a home about a
block away.
       Last I saw the cruiser was
turning the corner so I'm not
sure if the dog was "local" or
not. If so I'm hoping it was
returned to its owner along with
a warning about keeping it on a
      The paw markings I found
on my storm door in the morning
made me realize how lucky we
and the dog were the glass didn't
give way!
       Hope the Bear doesn't try
that door....and that all your
NEWS is good!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016



   I know. I understand. It's
Saint Patrick's Day. (News
people note: those parades
over this past weekend
were Saint Patrick's Parades,
not Saint Patrick's Day Parades.)
   Anyway, I totally understand
why most people will be
"wearing the green" in honor
of the holiday.
    In my case I suppose the
"green" is envy! I'm jealous
of those little people. No!
Not the leprechauns! Those
little kids!
    Think about it. Ask any
kid how old he or she is and
it's not unusual to hear a
response like..."I've three and
a half." They, and sometimes
we, measure life not in years,
but in half years. But we only
do it for kids! Why? It's not
    I kind of like the idea! And,
coincidentally, today, Marks
6 months since my last
Birthday and 6 months until
my next Birthday!
     So if I'm asked today, I
am 73 and a half! Seems
like a good reason to me to
celebrate. So I will! Maybe
I'll even wear green!
     Hope you'll celebrate.......
something......too....and that
all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016



     For the second time in less than
three weeks my wife lured me back
to the Shopping Mall on a quest for
     I figured it wouldn't be so bad
this time. All I needed was a dress
shirt and you don't have to try those
things on. We already had my neck
and arm measurements.
     As a guy who has worn a suit
most every day of his working life
I've bought a few dress shirts over
the years.
     Of course 99% of all the shirts
I've worn with my suits were white.
But in this case our quest was for a
shirt that was "off white." As a guy
I'm not even sure what that's
suppose to mean. But my wife knew.
     There had to be 2,000shirts
waiting for our inspection in the
Men's Department. Much to my
surprise 99% of them were not white!
In fact there were colors I never
thought you'd find on shirts.
      Even if they had all those colors
back in the day I never would have
dared to wear them. Orange and Pink
don't play well on the scene of a
homicide story!
       Interestingly enough we even
found a couple my wife assured me
were "off color." I mean " off white."
Of course none of them came in my
size! Naturally!
        A helpful clerk got on line
and found what we needed although
it only came in a short sleeve style.
That's OK. I'll be wearing a jacket
so sleeve length is no big deal.
        Hope that's it for Malls and
Men's Departments for awhile and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, March 14, 2016


         TUESDAY, MARCH 15TH.

    I don't like to get too serious in my
Blogs. It's too much fun making fun
of things that happen to me everyday
and making sure you're aware of
unusual holidays that are daily
excuses for silly celebrations. But
today I'm going to switch things a
bit and take a different track!
    On Sunday my grandson and I
spent part of the day at Steamtown.
As we walked from one room to
another admiring the exhibits to
railroad history my eyes opened wide
as I saw a small engine and passenger
car that brought back memories and
prompted a lot of questions.
     Years ago while on the news beat
for WYOU TV I covered a story
involving a generous local man named
Hank Evanish.  Mr. Evanish, who has
since passed away, had discovered the
rusty remains of an amusement train
ride that once entertained children in
Scranton's Nay Aug Park. As I recall
it was headed for the junk yard when
Evanish bought the train, had it
restored and donated in back to the
city to once again be set up at the
      I know it ran there, or at least sat
there, for a couple of years. But then
it disappeared again. I had heard a
rumor that it had been lent or given
(not such which) to Steamtown. And,
sure enough, there it was! The
Lackawanna Railroad Diesel-looking
engine and one of the passenger cars
that carried children over those rails
in Nay Aug Park.
      First I rejoiced! So  happy to see
that train still preserved.
      But then I realized there was
something missing. There was no
plaque or information sheet to tell
visitors about the history of this little
train. Where it rolled. How it was
saved from the junk yard by an area
man who cared. Or how he hoped it
would roll again. And what better
place than Steamtown!
       Rail enthusiasts from around the
world come to this place. Why not
set up the tracks, perhaps add more,
and allow visiting children to enjoy
this historic attraction? I'd love to
see it done. How about you? At the
very least the history of this once
popular amusement park ride should
be on display!
       Perhaps some letters or calls to
Steamtown! This is the Little Engine
that should....have our support!
       Hope someone pays attention
and that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, March 13, 2016



   Please don't let the title fool
you. It just seems to fit. In fact
I'm hoping you'll have a great
day and enjoy the product of
Mr. Crum's efforts.
   You see this is National
Potato Chip Day! And the
potato chip was "invented" by
Chef George Crum in Saratoga
Springs, NY., on August 24th.,
1853. Why they celebrate on
March 14th., I have no idea!
    According to folklore the
prominent railroad magnate
Cornelius Vanderbilt was
dining at Crum's restaurant and
complained that his french fries
were too thick. So the chef kept
slicing them thinner, then fried
them to a crisp, and added a lot of
salt. He expected Vanderbilt to
dislike them. Instead he praised
them! The chips became popular
and subsequently known as
"Saratoga chips" or "potato
    A very "Wise" receipt to my
way of thinking! Since then
nobody's been able to eat just one!
So have a bag or two today.
    Hope you don't leave too many
crum(b)s and that all your NEWS
is good!


Saturday, March 12, 2016



    Spring may not officially be
here. But the sky has been blue,
the temperatures mild and there's
work to be done in the fields.
    We needed some migrant
labor to begin our Spring clean
up. And we got it. All the way
from Wyoming (the Borough
not the State).
     Of course in our case the
"fields" are the front and back
yards and the work involved
raking both and hauling the
waste to the nearby woodlands.
The migrant labor came in the
form of our grandson who happen
to be coming for a sleepover!
     Although he doesn't yet
have a Driver's License he
has mastered the wheelbarrow
and made short order of the work.
      There was, of course, some
financial compensation and then
a pledge to fill his desire for some
pizza. Living here in northeastern
Pennsylvania, which could be
considered the Pizza Capital of
the world, should have made this
easy. But my wife and I both
detected our grandson's yen for
some travel.
     So, we headed out to one of
our favorite pizza places. An
hour and a half later we found
ourselves dining at Village Pizza
in Montague, NJ, just across the
border from Port Jervis, New
York! Doesn't everybody do that?
     Long day. But everybody
including the "migrant" seemed
pleased so after resetting all the
clocks we decided to call it a
     Hope the garlic odor
dissipates soon and that all your
NEWS is good!


Friday, March 11, 2016



  Minute by minute. Second by
second. No matter how you
measure it we're running out of
    Early tomorrow morning, 2am
to be exact, we'll all suddenly
lose an entire hour! Well, not all
of us. Folks in Hawaii don't observe
Daylight Savings Time.
    Supporters say it saves energy,
promotes outdoor leisure activity in
the evening  and is therefore good
for physical and psychological health,
reduces traffic accidents, reduces
crime, and is good for business.
    Opponents, and there are many,
say it increases health risks such as
heart attacks, can disrupt morning
activities, and that the act of changing
clocks twice a year is economically
and socially disruptive..
    I have mixed emotions. I like the
idea of having sunshine till 8 or 9
o'clock. But I keep searching for that
lost hour of sleep! I know I'll get it
back eventually. But that's little
consolation during those first few
days after I've set the clocks ahead.
I actually lost more than an hour if
you count the half hour it takes me
to do the resetting!
     But like it or not it shows up this
weekend so you'd better be ready!
     Hope you're right on time and
that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, March 10, 2016



   Don't be alarmed friends.
That is, don't let the alarm
clock wreck your day!
   This is "World Sleep
Day!" It's held annually on
the Friday before Spring Vernal
Equinox. It was organized by
the World Sleep Day Committee
of the World Association of
Sleep Medicine in 2008 and was
designed to celebrate the benefits
of good and healthy sleep.
    You'll probably want to
memorize that so you can explain
your absence to the boss.
     Some extra sleep will come
in handy now since we lose an
hour to Daylight Savings Time
this weekend.
     How to celebrate? That's easy.
Just follow my lead and stay in
bed an extra couple of hours!
I'd be OK making this a monthly
     Hope you can get away with it
and that all your "schnooze" is good!
(Revised sign off thanks to J. Keenan.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


            EXTRA BUTTER?

     It's the second Sunday in March
folks. And that makes it "Popcorn
Lover's Day!"
      Bob Matthews of Rochester, NY
came up with the day back in 2012.
It's his favorite snack and he and his
wife have it every Thursday all year
      I fully support Bob and his home
made holiday. I've loved popcorn
for years. I can't see a movie without
      I used to make it in one of those
aluminum covered pans you held over
the gas burner on the stove. The cover
expanded like a balloon as the kernels
exploded in the heat. These days I keep
a microwave supply close at hand.
      As snacks go popcorn is actually
good for you. Of course the health
value decreases a bit as you add salt
and butter.
      I buy a popcorn bucket every
January at my local Cinemark movie
theater. It costs a little bit more. But
I get to bring it to the theater whenever
I come back and get it filled for just
$3.50. It's an especially good deal for
me because my wife won't eat popcorn!
I get it all to myself. She loves the smell
of fresh popped popcorn, but she doesn't
like those little kernel pieces that can
get stuck in your teeth.
       This week I got her a present that
will allow her to enjoy the taste without
the curse of the kernels!
        It's popcorn flavored jelly beans!
Butter flavored too! And you don't
have to pop them!
        Hope you enjoy the show and that
all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016



   Well, if you've had it and just
want to scream.....go ahead...let
loose! It's March 9th. And this
     There's no documentation as
to who came up with this unique
"holiday." I suppose we might
all claim credit for it at one time
or another. Who hasn't had one
of those "panic moments?"
      Hopefully life is fine for you
and you've got no need to hit the
switch. And even if you're on the
edge you do have the option of
waiting till June 18th. That's
International Panic Day!
      I'm torn myself. I just learned
this is also "Get Over It Day!"
Maybe that's the best way to go.
Don't Panic.....just Get Over It!
      Hope you don't have reason
to hit the button and that all of
your NEWS is good!

Monday, March 7, 2016


           TEEING OFF!

      I watched my grandson as
he was teeing off Sunday. But
we were no where near a golf
      I joined him and my son-
in-law for a luncheon at our
local Cracker Barrel restaurant.
      A long time ago someone
in that popular chain was
apparently charged with the
task of coming up with a way to
keep patrons entertained while
waiting for their meals to be
prepared. The result of those
efforts is a triangular-shaped
wooden block with 15 holes and
14 colorful golf tees.
      The challenge is to remove
the tees by jumping one over
another until you've only one
tee left!
      My grandson did the moving.
But, admittedly, I'd be watching,
and second guessing each move,
as he whittled the tees down to
two! It always came down to two!
It was driving me crazy!!!!!
       I might have gotten involved
but, thankfully, my meal arrived!
My sanity was restored (at least
for a half hour or so.)
        I know if I tried I just get
"Teed off!"
        Hope your dinner comes
quickly and that all your NEWS
is good!


Sunday, March 6, 2016



  What happened to the orange?
And when did it happen?
   When I was a kid I remember
grabbing an orange from our
refrigerator. It was always
basically round and about the
size of baseball.
    When you bought them at
the A&P you put them in a
brown paper bag so you could
carry them home.
     Now, everything's changed!
First of all oranges come in all
different sizes. Some are as
small as a billiard ball while
others look more like a grapefruit!
And whatever the size most come
in net-like bags you can use for
fishing after eating the oranges.
      These days they seem to
grow oranges complete with
little stickers. I'm still not sure
how they pull that off.
       If you look at those stickers
carefully, assuming you have a
powerful magnifying glass, you'll
usually see a product brand and
a whole bunch of little numbers.
I used to think the numerals
represented the sequence in which
the orange was picked. But that's
not the case!
      It's a code! If the code on the
fruit is four digits and starts from
the numbers 3 or 4 it means the product
comes from a cultivation from the II
half of the XX century, using artificial
      If the fruit has a sticker with a five
digit code starting from the number 9,
it means it was cultivated without
pesticides or fertilizers.
      If the sticker has a five digit code
and starts from the number 8 the fruit
has been genetically modified.
      Whatever the code, don't worry
if you forget to peal off the sticker.
They are made from edible paper!!!
       Hope you're eating some fruit
and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Remembering The Alamo!


    180 years ago today a small
band of men were wiped out trying to
defend an old mission in Texas against
some 5,000 Mexican soldiers. No. I did
not actually cover that story. 
    Yesterday people in Lewistown in Central
Pennsylvania gathered around a monument
to pay tribute to three Mifflin County men
who traveled to Texas to join the fight
for Independence and died at the Alamo!
      In fact there were 15 Pennsylvanians
at the Alamo. And one other who was sent out
of the mission before the final battle to search
for supplies.
      Even if you never heard of any of those
brave men you should have seen at least one
of about a dozen movies about the battle
featuring big stars like John Wayne and Billy
Bob Thornton taking turns playing Davy
Crockett who died there along side Col
William Barret Travis and Jim Bowie.
       Recently I mentioned the Alamo to a young
lady at the  Check out counter of a local pharmacy. 
The stunned look on her face reminded me of the
time I gave another clerk a five dollar bill and a
quarter to cover four dollar and twenty five cent
bill. She would have been OK with just the five
because the computer would have told her to
give me seventy five cents in change. I guess
history, like math, isn't what it used to be.
        Good thing I didn't mention anything about
the Agnes Flood or the Knox Mine Disaster. I
suspect, even through they were in this young
lady's back yard, she wouldn't know much about
       That's too bad! They say if we don't learn from
history we're doomed to repeat it! And  I'll bet both
were "good students" too!
        Hope you Remember The Alamo, give the right
change, and that all your NEWS is good!