Thursday, June 30, 2016


                FRIDAY, JULY 1ST., 2016
             DON'T WAIT FOR THE 4TH! 

     I'm sure most folks out there have their eyes
set on the 4th of July!
     Probably a day off. Perhaps planning a picnic.
Stocking up on fireworks (only the legal ones I'm
sure). Getting set to celebrate a good U S of A
Independence Day.
      That's all well and good. But don't forget all
the big events we're suppose to be celebrating
today....July 1st!
       Today, for instance, is Creative Ice Cream
Flavors Day!
       Howard Johnson's used to be famous for
featuring 28 flavors of ice cream in all its
restaurants. Its freezers might be considered
half empty by today's standards.
       We got an early start to the celebration
by stopping a Curley Cream after my
grand daughter's soccer game yesterday.
       July 1st in also Canada Day. It's not that
our northern neighbors didn't want to share July
4th. The fact is Canada became self-governing
on July 1st, 1867.
      This is also International Joke Day! I don't
think that has anything to do with Canada. It's
just a day set aside to encourage people to
spread laughter around the world. If you can't
post a good joke to encourage a smile perhaps
you could send some Ice Cream overseas!
That should do the trick!
     Last, but certainly not least, July 1st was
my brother Jim's Birthday. We lost Jim, way
too soon, in 2005.
      Jim was 8 years older than I.
      He had the wavy hair. He had the math
and science knowledge I never had. Jim got
the fantastic signing voice in our family.
     But I won out in the end. I had one thing
he didn't have!
     I had the best big brother!
     Hope you'll wave the Maple Leaf flag a
bit today, have a scoop of some unusual
flavor ice cream, laugh at or tell a good
joke, and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016



   How very appropriate that you
should be joining me, by reading
my blog, on Social Media Day!
It's the 7th annual observance of
this global celebration although
Social Media has been around a
lot longer than that.
    Of course it's changed over
the years! At one time the term
could have been applied to those
rural homes that shared a so-
called "party line" telephone.
    Now we've evolved to world
wide contact ability through
sources like Skype and Facebook.
And what great resources they
     Just yesterday I received
three Skype messages from
people I never heard of asking
that I add them as contacts.
      Meanwhile on Facebook,
I struggle daily with the task
of coming up with one word
responses on how I met various
friends who then want me to
copy and paste my answer to
my home page.
      I have politely tried to
 explain that I haven't copied
since third grade and am
prohibited, by my wife, from
using paste or glue.
     On the positive side, I
now have a better idea of
how many cats my FB friends
own and see their photos
nearly every day.
      Of course I do plenty
of postings too including
family and travel photos.
I do not, however, have
any cats except for those
who roam my neighborhood
at will. If I see one, or a
skunk, I'll try to post a photo
so I feel more like a part of
the group!
      I don't know how folks
in those party line days
      How you keep using
Social Media (to read my
blogs) and that all your
NEWS is good!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016



     Sometimes in your travels you see
something that demands you turn
around to get another and, perhaps,
better look!
      That was the case Tuesday
evening as my wife and I returned
from a sunset ice cream journey.
       In the distance I thought I
saw huge streams of water shooting
into the air and my wife confirmed
the sighting.
       Ever the newsman I drove
about a hundred yards and found
a good spot for a safe U-turn.
       My first thought was a serious
fire. But one fact seemed to reject
that theory.
       Those streams of water were
trained on the lake at the Francis
Slocum State Park. As a "trained
observer' I felt is was unlikely the
lake was on fire.
        Perhaps they were filling it?
But, the fact the lake is stream fed
poured cold water on that theory as
        Maybe somebody's ship had
come in and Fire boats were just
saluting? But how would a ship
get into the lake? All burning
         We never did get closer than
our initial vantage point. Still, with
that many powerful streams of water
shooting into the lake in now seems
logical a local Fire Department was
training its responders in the use of
hose high pressure hoses!
       If, however, the lake was on
fire......hope they put it out....and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, June 27, 2016


 TUESDAY, JUNE 28., 2016

   They say you live and learn.
The also say you never stop
learning. Yesterday I learned
they were right!
    My colleague Rusty Fender
and I welcomed Jean Rufh from
the Endless Mountains Vacation
Bureau to our weekly program
on Electric City Television to
talk about summer events and
attractions in that area.
     One of those attractions
features an historical site in
Susquehanna that is being
restored by The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
Better know as the Mormons!
     Turns out the founder of that
church, Joseph Smith, came to
Oakland Township (formally
called Harmony) in Susquehanna
County in 1827 where he
translated much of the Book of
Mormon. I didn't know that!
      But wait! There's more!
Smith and his associate Oliver
Cowdery baptized each other
in the Susquehanna River! I
didn't know that!
     That happened, according
to Smith, after he was made a
Priest by the resurrected John the
Baptist! I didn't know that!
      The site also includes a replica
of a cabin where Joseph and his
wife Emma lived in the early days
of the Church. Smith instituted
the private practice of polygamy
in the 1830's. Emma, apparently,
was the first of his 28 wives! I
didn't know that!
      Anyhow the site, which includes
a meeting house, is open to the public
free of charge. It certainly has a
lot of historical significance! And
it's right here in Northeastern!
      I may just pay a visit. Who
knows what might happen?
     I do know one thing. I hope all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, June 26, 2016


        MONDAY, JUNE 27TH., 2016
     It's June 27th friends! It's the Birthday
of the song "Happy Birthday To You!"
    Back in 1893 a pair of sisters, Mildred
and Patty Hill, wrote a song for their nursery
school students. It was, originally, "Good
morning to you." Eventually it evolved into
 "Happy Birthday to you."
     And now you can sing it....for free!!!!!!
     123 years ago somebody filed a
Copyright on the song and, over most of
those years, publishing companies have been
collecting royalties whenever the song
was sung or played by a profit making
      For instance the scene in which I appear
in the movie "All In Time" was written as a
Birthday Party. When the producers realized
they'd have to pay to use the "Happy
Birthday" the scene was changed to a picnic.
I did miss the cake!
    Small change? Hardly! The royalties
brought in an estimated two million dollars
a year! Makes you think about writing
a song!
     Last year, however, a Federal Judge
ruled the copyright only applied to a
specific piano arrangement of the song. Not
to the song itself!
    So if you or someone you know is
celebrating a Birthday...sing away and
bring a band to play the music if you
wish! It's all for fun...especially now that
it's all for free!
     Hope you enjoy the party and that
all your NEWS is good!



Saturday, June 25, 2016


  SUNDAY, JUNE 26TH., 2016

     My wife and I were invited
to a graduation party on Saturday.
It was our good friend's grandson
who just completed High School
and we were happy to be included
in the celebration.
     The festivities were scheduled
for Francis Slocum Park, a beautiful
State Park in Luzerne County that
boasts a lake, boat launch, swimming
pool, and plenty of Picnic facilities.
      Since the day was perfect for
fishing, boating, swimming, and
picnics it might be easier to count
the number of area residents who
weren't there!
      Thanks to a detour along the
road we use to get to the park we
were already a little late when we
arrived at the entrance. Next mission...
find the party!
       I remember reading a Facebook
invitation that said something about
being near the swimming pool. But
the closest picnic tables to that area
were taken up by families enjoying
their picnic lunches.
       We found a couple of birthday
parties! But none of those kids were
old enough to graduate. Unless,
perhaps, from elementary school.
       It's a big park so we continued
our search. As I drove my phone
rang indicating I had received a
text message. It was from our
friend and it read...."Did you just
drive by?"
      Now the answer to that question
would depend, of course, on where
our friends were when they saw us.
Now you'll understand why I prefer
actual calls! Anyway, I replied..
"We are looking for you" followed by
 a text request that she call us. But there
was no reply, either text or call. 
       As luck would have it, however,
my wife spotted a large group of
people not too far from where we
had just been cruising so we turned
around and found the party!
       Asked why she didn't respond
our friend said....."My phone is over
there." I had hoped it might be in her
hand...where it had to be when she
sent the text!
        Anyway, the party was well
worth the search as family members
and a few friends like us got to enjoy
some good food and, most of all,
each other's company!
        Hope you enjoyed the day too
and that all your NEWS is good!



    A funny thing happened on the way
to today's blog. Instead of hitting the
right key to publish it......I erased it.
     It's now late and the likelihood of
me remembering all my clever lines
is pretty slim. So, I'll give you the
short story.
     Friday was another great day for
a top down ride in our Miata. But
this time I decided to stop along the
way to smell the roses.
      Since I couldn't find any I just took
a couple photos of some of the
places I usually just drive right by.
There's a lot of thins to see
around here when you take the
time to look.
       Hope you do that from time to time
and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, June 23, 2016


  FRIDAY, JUNE 24TH.,2016

     Regrettably I find myself
unable to participate in today's
holiday. What holiday you ask?
     Thank you for asking. June
24th., is "Drive Your Corvette
To Work Day."
      I have two problems with
the day. First, I don't technically
"work" any more. Yes, I'm still
on television every day. But I
am now a volunteer and don't
get paid. (That's just a little
less than I made, by the way,
when I did get paid!)
       Secondly I don't have a
Corvette! I guess that's actually
the bigger reason I won't be
joining in the celebration.
       I did have a Corvette
many years ago. I bought it used
from one of those old infamous
used car dealers.
       The vehicle looked great.
But every time I drove it the car
would suddenly shift itself out
of 4th gear as I was driving down
the highway! I took it back to be
repaired and the salesman assured
me it would be fixed.
       When I picked it up a couple
days later I quickly learned the
problem had not been fixed and
I found myself coasting along the
Interstate hoping I could get the
"Vette" back into 4th!
         In the car's defense the gas
gauge worked perfectly! I could
actually see it move downward!
         I paid no more than $3500
for the car. A few years ago I saw
one that looked exactly like it. I
was told it was worth over $30,000
back then!
        If I knew then what I know
now I would find a part time job
and drive my Corvette there in
3rd gear!
        Hope those who can celebrate
do......and that all your NEWS is

(Mine looked like this one)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


   THURSDAY, JUNE 23RD., 2016
            OUT OF ORDER!

      My son, grand daughter, and two
grandsons made the trip to Knoebels
Amusement park Wednesday. My
wife was tied up with a medical
appointment and couldn't make the
      Neither of us do the rides when
we visit except, perhaps, the train.
But we both enjoy watching the
kids as well as the other folks visiting
the park.
       Each time we visit I make it a
point to go to the Arcade where I
make use of an antique machine that
prints the letters of your choice on
what is called an "Identification
Medal." It's a sort of coin on which
you can imprint a message like "I
Love You" with the date as well.
      Ironically on this visit, without
my wife, I was saddened to find my
favorite souvenir machine "Out Of
       I asked a friendly clerk if she
might, at least, have one of the blank
medals I might take home with me.
She alerted another worker who, sure
enough, came through! I told my
wife the medal had no message because
she wasn't there with me.
        I know we'll be there together
again this year. It's one of our
favorite stops and employees like
the ones who went out of their way
to help me out are among the reasons
who we love the place!
        Hope they fix the machine....and
that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22ND., 2016

     My memory isn't what it used to be.
But I can tell you what I was doing 44
years ago on June 22nd., 1972!
     I can also tell you where I was on
the 23rd, 24th and every day for the rest
of that month and into July as well.
      On the 22nd, I called my wife to
tell her I'd be home a little late. I
stopped back two and a half days later!
Even then I couldn't stay!
      That's when Tropical Storm Agnes
was bearing down on Wyoming Valley.
I was News Director of WILK Radio
at the time and we were the area's
'Emergency Alert Station' for the
area.  As the waters of the Susquehanna
River began to rise to a dangerous
level I decided to go to the Courthouse
where are station had a two way radio.
That way I didn't have to bother the Civil
Defense Officials with constant phone calls
for updates.
      But the individual assigned to handle
public information for Civil Defense
couldn't get in.  Does anybody remember
what the term 'drafted' means?
      Well I was.
       It was an experience unequaled in
my news career!
       I saw the Pierce Street Bridge get
washed away!  I was broadcasting a report
from Civil Defense in the sub basement
of the Courthouse when water started
to gush into the room from what should
have been the drain! Being a 'trained observer'
I decided to leave the room and move
somewhere higher!
      I helped carry documents dating from the
1700's upstairs to try to keep them from
being lost.
      And I worked an Army field telephone
wired from the temporary CD headquarters
to the old WYZZ FM while directing a
network of 13 usually competitive radio
stations to air flood emergency reports. We
did that once at hour for several 'weeks after
the waters went back within their banks.
       We only lost one report! Two kids saw
the wire running up the street and decided to
play jump rope!
       Then President Nixon called it 'the
worst natural disaster to hit the United States'
up till that time.
        But the work of volunteers, National
Guard, students who sandbagged, Civil
Defense and those great newsmen and DJ's
who took shifts on that emergency radio
network contributed to a very low death toll
in our area.
        Let's face it folks. Some things
you can't remember. Some others you'll never
forget!  Keep you feet dry and may all your
NEWS be good!

Monday, June 20, 2016


     TUESDAY, JUNE 21ST., 2016

    Sunday was Father's Day. But it
was also my daughter and her
husband's wedding anniversary.
A day earlier they received an
Anniversary Card which, admittedly,
they expected!
     For several years now my wife
and I, and our two daughters and
their husbands, have been sending
and resending the same card to
each other on our anniversaries!
     This year we added another
couple, my son and his wife, to
the rotation on the occasion of
their marriage!
       It's a little thing. But to those
of us who share the tradition it's
become a sign of our love for one
       Our new daughter-in-law has
now become part of another
unique tradition. At her wedding
her good friend Milease gave her
a very special gift.
       New brides are suppose to
get "something old" and, in a
sense, this fit the bill.
       Milease gave her a necklace
bearing the words  "Just Married."
It seems Milease received it from
friend, Carissa, as a wedding gift
about a year earlier. She's worn
it proudly and treasures it.
       But it's not a gift one keeps!
       You see like our card, this
necklace is to be passed along!
It's a beautiful piece of jewelry
that's to be worn and enjoyed
as one's marriage life begins.
       In a year or so our daughter-in-law
will watch for another deserving
bride, likely one of her dear friends,
who will share the love that comes
along with this special gift!
       And who knows? Maybe some
young bride 50 years from now will
be wearing the same necklace as her
married life begins.
        Whatever your tradition hope
you pay it forward and that all
your NEWS is good.


Sunday, June 19, 2016


   MONDAY, JUNE 20TH., 2016

    For years now I have answered
the question "What do you want
for your birthday (or Christmas,
or Father's day, or any other
occasion) with the phrase
"Something neat."
    The gift givers in my family
have always risen to the challenge!
Still, yesterday, I was in total
shock when I opened the box with
the tag marked "Dad" on top.
     You see I wasn't really expecting
anything neat or otherwise. Probably
some nice cards (and, by the way I
got those too). But we had just
returned from vacation. No one
had much time. And it was also
my daughter and son-in-law's
anniversary so I figured the day
would center around the family
get together and the steaks we
didn't have time to prepare on
vacation (and, by the way we got
those too!)
      Much to my surprise the gift
box contained a brand new camera!
I'm not left speechless very often.
But they got me this time!
       It's one of those modern
cameras that not only takes photos
and video. It can send them to
your Facebook page or email
right from the camera.
       Wow! We've come a long
way since my Dad and I developed
our own pictures in our basement
dark room and hung them on a
clothes pin until the fixer solution
       My Dad would be thrilled
with this new technology! I know
I am. This thing is really neat!
        Hope I can understand the
directions....and that all your
NEWS is good!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


   SUNDAY, JUNE 19TH., 2016

   We're back home after a great
family week in Wildwood, NJ.
    I spent a little time by myself
back on the boardwalk the night
before we left. I reflected on some
of the things that have changed
since I went there as a kid. And,
of course, some of the things that
never seem to change.
    There are constants, like the
warning that sounds when the
Tram car gets near and the
Frozen Custard stands that seem
to call out to me without any
warning at all!
     The Fudge and Gift shops
are still there too. But theses
days you're likely to find  them
flanked by Body piercing stands
and Tattoo parlors, permanent or
temporary. T shirt stands still
draw the teens. But the logos
keep changing to meet the
changing times.
      There used to be three
movie theaters on the boardwalk.
They're all gone now although
the marque of the Strand still
reminds me of days gone by
when popular movies brought
the crowds in...especially on
rainy days.
      The "charm" pretty much
remains the same and I really
look forward to spending a week
with the whole family under one
     All in all I'd say it was a great
week. If only motorists on the
Schuylkill Expressway offered
the same warnings as the Tram
     Hope you get to enjoy a
great vacation this summer and
that all your NEWS is good!


Friday, June 17, 2016


    SATURDAY, JUNE 18TH., 2016
      Well another of our traditional
family vacations by the beach in
Wildwood, NJ has come to an end.
        I suppose we've all had similar
weeks. We arrived last Saturday and
we're all wondering how those days
could speed by so very fast!
        The prime season will just be
starting as we get home. But going
early has its benefits. The rates still
haven't peaked and there are no long
lines at the concession stands or for
the amusement rides. There are
plenty of people on the boardwalk.
But not enough to make you feel
like you're on a crowded elevator!
        Of course the ocean water
hasn't warmed up for the summer
just yet. So taking a dip will quickly
make you understand what happened
to the people who didn't make the
life boats on the Titanic!
        Our pool proved a bit warmer
and you didn't have to get the sand
out from between your toes!
        This year was especially pleasant
for us as we welcomed our youngest
grandson to the Wildwood family
tradition. He may not remember all
that much. But his memory may be
refreshed by the hundreds of photos
and hours of video recorded by the
        We're sorry to have to leave the
shore and I'm pretty sure at least one
business, Curley's Fries, is sad to see
me go. I've already guaranteed they'll
have a successful season!
         Hope we can all do it again next
year....and that all your NEWS is

Thursday, June 16, 2016


  FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH., 2016

     I know! The traditional phrase
is "Diamonds in the Rough."
     But, in this case, it works
the other way around!
     Some of our gang crowded
into two vehicles on Thursday
for another vacation tradition.
      We like to visit Diamond
Beach at Cape May where the
constant flow of the tide turns
small pebbles into what have
become known as "Cape May
      The beach is also home to
a traditional sunset ceremony
during which a flag that has
honored a veteran is lowered
to the sounds of Taps then
carefully folded and presented
to members of that deceased
veteran's family.
       It's also a great place to
watch the sunset....unless it's
very cloudy. And a great place
for a toddler to play in the
       I know kids these days
love to play with all the new
electronic gadgets that are
available. But I must admit
it was a real joy to watch our
10-month-old grandson
discover the thrill of playing
with a stick in the sand! He
was rough on those "diamonds.'
But no expensive presents will
ever match the happiness he found
drawing a circle around himself
with the stick he picked up from
the beach!
       Hope he comes to realize
the value of his discovery and
that all your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


   THURSDAY, JUNE 16TH., 2016

     I have finally found it! I've been
to California. I've been to Hawaii.
But I found it right here during our
family vacation in Wildwood, New
     It's the biggest wave! And it's
not a Tidal wave! In fact it's not
even in the ocean!
     I found it or, rather, them on
the amusement ride piers right
off the boardwalk!
     They are most often produced
by the crowds of parents and
grand parents watching their
children and grand children as
those kids go round in circles on
things like the Merry-go-round
and various other attractions.
      Often the kids wave back.
But even if they don't the moms
and dads, usually waving with one
hand while holding a camera
in the other, are waving either
to acknowledge their presence, or
in an attempt to get the children
to look towards the lens!
      Surfers may be unimpressed.
But the kids and the parents are
usually pleased.
       Hope you're still waving at
someone you love and that all
your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH., 2016
           ALL HANDS ON DECK!

     The kids wanted to race go-carts
Tuesday night. I wanted Curley Fries.
       So, after the go-carts, I stopped
at Curley Fries. So did everybody else!
The benches there provided just enough
seats for our party.
       It was the bucket of fries that
suddenly seemed too small! So we
all participated in one of those exercises
where you put the bucket in the middle
and everyone tries to get their hand in
and out with at least one French fry
before your hand clashes with the
next one on its way in!
     Ironically as we all began to get
our fill I suddenly noticed that a
small fry (the youngest member of
our troop) had somehow managed
to slide the bucket just in front of
her seat! She is a very smart young
     In the end everyone walked away
filled except for the aforesaid young
lady. She was carried from the scene,
apparently too filled to walk any more.
      Hope I do as well on my next visit
and that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, June 13, 2016


     TUESDAY, JUNE 14TH., 2016

          There are certain photos that
must be taken when you visit certain
          In Pisa you must pose as though
you're trying to hold up the leaning
tower! At the Grand Canyon you've
got to get a shot as though you're
about to fall.
          And you don't leave Wildwood
without a photo by the Wildwoods
sign! It's a huge series of letters that
spell out "Wildwoods' and a whole
lot of large colorful make believe
Beach balls that invite anyone with a
camera or smart phone.
          The problem, of course, is that
everyone wants the same photos, and
usually about the same time as you're
         We took a stroll there Monday
after visiting a nearby playground.
Since we're just a little pre-season
the crowds weren't overly large. Since
my son has worked as a Bouncer I
suggest he might clear the place for us.
         Instead we just watched for
openings as they appeared and took
our that we
got the opportunity.
          Any person appearing in the
background of our snapshots is
there strictly by coincidence and
is not affiliated with our family.
Unless they are wealthy. In that
         Hope we're all in focus and
that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, June 12, 2016


   MONDAY, JUNE 13TH., 2016
    A TASTE OF THE SHORE!                          

      Our grandson was introduced
to salt on Sunday. It came in a
couple forms.
      First, from water in the
Atlantic Ocean! It was his first
trip to the beach and he seemed
to enjoy it.
      At ten months old he tends
to put anything he can gets his
hands on into his mouth. I believe
he may now know that beach
sand is not the best tasting
substance here at the shore.
      He seemed to love the water,
salt and all.
       So, as a reward, we took
him to my favorite stop on the
boardwalk. Curley Fries!
       Here again, he got a taste
of salt mixed here and there
with ketchup and perhaps just
a touch of vinegar.
        He is getting a real "taste
of the shore!
        Hope his blood pressure
is OK and that all your NEWS
is good!