Friday, September 30, 2016



     My title is borrowed from an old radio
show and a charter know as "The Shadow"
who had the power to cloud men's minds.
      The show has been gone for many
years now. But it must have had an effect
because most men's minds are still clouded!
Especially the politicians!
       Anyhow the change in the weather
over the past few days has a lot of people
wondering  about the upcoming winter.
My Facebook friend "Weather Bob" will
be publishing his annual Winter Outlook
at the end of this month.
        But I'm prepared with my winter
forecast now. Although it's not exactly
"my" forecast.
        I spotted a groundhog yesterday!
I know it wasn't "Phil", he only comes
out in February. But this weather rodent
was checking out a lawn near the
Susquehanna River in Jenkins Township.
I know he saw his shadow! Therefore, we
will have six more weeks of Fall. (I think
that's how it works.) Isn't science wonderful?!
       Hope he's right...and that all your
NEWS is good!


           WHAT DAY IS IT?

     Before you shout out "Friday" or
"September 30th" allow me to provide
the actual answer.
      This is "Ask a stupid question day!"
It's one of my favorite unusual holidays!
       While many of you will surely link
this observance with my colleagues in
the news media or, perhaps, politicians,
it's a day originally created by teachers!
         It was part of a movement by teachers
in the 1980's to try to get kids to ask more
questions in the classroom. Educators said
kids sometimes hold back, fearing their
question is stupid, and asking it will result
in ridicule." Heck that never stopped a
reporter! Of course in school, I didn't
raise my hand very much!!!!
         How how about the doctor in the
Emergency Room who begins his examination
by asking "How are you?"
         Or the office who just pulled you
over for speeding and asks "Do you know
how fast you were going?" Isn't he suppose
to know?
         Anyway today feel free to ask anything
you want no matter how stupid it may be.
Hope you get a good answer and that all your
NEWS is good!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


                 IF THEY BUILD IT.......
                 (YOU WILL HELP!)
       My brother and sister-in-law are having
  a room added to a house they recently
  purchased. They are, of course, at the mercy
  of the builders who are working on their own
  time schedule.
        Yesterday my wife and I happened by as
  the new structure was actually taking shape.
  As we arrived the carpenter and his assistant
  had just completed the frame for one of the
  main walls. The next step was to lift it into
          This is where I got lucky. I was holding
  my camera!
           It quickly became clear that these two
  men were no match for the weight of all that
 lumber! Add a gust of wind, which showed
 up right on cue, and you had an accident just
 waiting to happen.
            Fortunately my brother-in-law stepped
 in to add the necessary manpower to get the
 job done. Me? Well if you'll remember I was
 holding my camera!
              Since I couldn't lift I did the next
  best thing and snapped a photo.
               With two more walls to go I figured
  it was time to leave. But I left my brother-in-
  law there....just in case!
                Hope they can get it done without
   me and that al your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


                  A TUESDAY TOUR!

        My wife and I had the day off Tuesday. No
   grandkid's sporting events to attend. No immediate
   shopping needs. So we had to decide what to do.
         It was $5 day at the movies so that was a
   possibility. But the bright sun, reasonable
   temperatures, and forecasts of rain to come
   prompted our decision to put the top down and
   head out for a nice ride.
         We talked about a couple possible
   destinations. Williamsport was mentioned. As
   was Lewisburg, Bloomsburg, and even
   Sunbury. We just couldn't decide. So we
   went to them all!
           It was neat to see the Little League
   Stadium without all the people around and
   the Susquehanna looked fantastic around
   the inflatable dam at Sunbury!
           We stopped for ice cream in Lewisburg
    and battled some Fair traffic in Bloomsburg!
            In the end we covered 150 miles,
    enjoyed the views, and the day long fall
    sunshine! And I'm still half tanked! That is
    to say I still have a half tank of gas! Hope we
    get to do it again soon and that all your NEWS
 is good!


Monday, September 26, 2016


      TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27TH., 2016
                             CAN DO!
    Lift you foot high. Then bring it down quickly! This
is September 27th. It's "Crush A Can Day."!
    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 aluminium 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 boils.
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 good!


Sunday, September 25, 2016


             GOODBYE CHARLIE!

       A Television icon said good bye yesterday.
No. Not me. I'm still plugging away on ECTV.
       But Charles Osgood anchored his last
"Sunday Morning" program on CBS yesterday.
       The program is a high quality feature news
program that takes whatever time is necessary
to tell a story. It is, in my opinion, one of the
best programs on television. And Osgood has
been the perfect host!
       He surprised me. I didn't think anyone
could replace the program's original host,
Charles Kuralt, the man who originated the
"on the road" series of feature stories on
network TV. But Osgood proved to be cut
from the same mold with his soft spoken yet
dependable delivery style.
       You trusted him. Like you used to trust
the likes of Edward R. Murrow or Walter
Cronkite or, on a local level, hopefully me!
        The so-called "main stream media" takes
a lot of raps these day, usually when various
outlets report something negative about
somebody the public likes. So instead of
listening to the information a lot of folks
prefer to dismiss it and "kill the messenger."
        You'd be hard pressed to do that with
Charles Osgood.
         His departure from "Sunday Morning"
came as a complete surprise to me. A lot of
big names, even from the other networks,
came on his last program to congratulate him
for the work he's done over 50 some years.
        Of course I had hoped someone from
CBS might give me a call to fill in. But the
phone never rang. Guess they figured I'm
too busy with my blog!
        Hope Charles has a long and happy
retirement and that all his, and your, NEWS
is good!


Saturday, September 24, 2016


      SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER25TH., 2016

     Life can often be like a three ring circus.
Yesterday the DeCosmo family did it all in
 just one ring!
      The occasion was the first annual
DeCosmo Family Reunion held at "The
Sanctuary" in Hazleton.
      My grandfather and grandmother
settled in Hazleton after immigrating to
the United States from Italy. The family
they raised there included my Dad, his
brother, and sisters. They are all gone
now and I am the senior cousin from
their kids.
      There are, however, plenty of "next
generation DeCosmos" and a couple of
them decided it was time to get together
at a reunion instead of a funeral.
      One of my second cousins, Pat Trosky,
got the ball rolling and, as it happens, her
son Jon owns "The Sanctuary", a former
church that is now used as a home for
theatrical live action art and where
professional wrestling is held one night
each week.
       Judging from all the family "Bear
hugs" I witnessed the afternoon could
well have been included on the weekly
wrestling card!
       Everyone brought food. We probably
could have invited two more families to
help finish it off.
       And the wrestling ring! You couldn't
keep the kids out of it! It was far better
than a circus for them as they jumped
and danced on the mat!
        My late brother and I moved our
part of the DeCosmo clan to Wyoming
Valley many years ago. Our contacts
with those in the old home town were
few and far between. I'll bet Dad, my
uncle, aunts, and first cousins were
smiling down from up above to see the
family together again!
         There are some great acts in this
family circus, and a clown or two like
me as well!
          Hope we do it again, and that
all your NEWS is good!

Friday, September 23, 2016


             GONE TO THE FAIR!

    It was close to a disaster!
    The first day of Fall offered summer-like
temperatures and the temptation to put down
the Miata top and head straight for Nescopeck
to our favorite ice cream stand. So we did.
     But as we neared the small community my
wife wondered if the owner might have closed
shop to take his portable ice cream stand to the
Bloomsburg Fair.
      As stunned as I was, she was right! The
sign in front of the place read "Closed. Gone
to the fair." Regular customers like us were
left at the curb ice cream-less!
       No problem. An old friend of mine runs
a restaurant on the other side of the river just
north of Berwick which just happens to feature
a great assortment of ice cream treats.
       So we drove there. And found the place
closed! No indication where his crew had
gone. But it's probably a safe guess the
Bloomsburg Fair had something to do with
the lights being out.
        About that time we figured everyone had
gone to the fair and we started back home.
And the route we choose took us right by the
Bodnarosa Motel and Camp Ground where
the sign in front of the store read "Now serving
Leiby's Ice Cream." Needless to say we
stopped and camped out in front of the place
enjoying our treat.
        Hope those who abandoned us enjoyed
the fair as much as we enjoyed our ice cream
and that all your NEWS is good.


Thursday, September 22, 2016



  My wife and I had about an hour to kill
before we headed to our grandson's soccer
game on Wednesday. So for the first time
in a long time we pulled into one of the
parking lots at Ricket's Glen State Park.
   The park is famous for a couple reasons.
First and foremost for it's hiking trails
along a series of waterfalls. The first part
of one of those trails was right there ahead
of where we parked. So we thought we'd
use up a few of our 60 minutes on a short
walk in the woods.
   As we began I recalled the other thing
the park is famous for. People who have
accidents walking along those trails!
    They almost always involve people
who are really unprepared to hike those
steep trails. That was us!!!!!
     My aching knees cried out to me
immediately as I stepped down from
one rock to another on a path definitely
not part of any "official trail."
     As my wife neared the edge of one
cliff near the falls just off the highway
I stopped her with plenty of room to
spare urging her to let the zoom lens
on her camera cover the rest of the
      I did manage to get down the first
set of steps to a lookout that provided
a great view of the falls. I might have
gone down the next set were it not for
the mental reality that I'd have to walk
back up!
      The Glen and its trails and waterfalls
are well worth the trip to those who come
prepared. "Stop by tourists" like us should
be content with the couple photos we
snapped before climbing back the short
hill to our car.
       Hope you enjoy the pictures and
that all your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016


                     OLD SCHOOL!

      I've been meaning to write a few lines on
this subject for a long time.
      I never paid much attention to the
conditions of the schools I attended. My
main concern, as far as the buildings were
concerned, was the location of the exits!
     My Junior High School was torn down
a few years back. It probably should have
come down before I ever got there.
     But why are so many old schools "in
 such bad shape?"
     Most of you are well aware of the fact
that two of Wilkes-Barre's three High Schools
will soon become just memories. We've been
told they're too old and are falling apart.
       I have no idea how bad the buildings are.
I'm not qualified to second guess the "experts"
on their findings.
       But I'm amazed at the number of
structures that, for one reason or another,
weren't good enough to be schools any more-
but are now good enough for apartment
houses or other uses.
       The old Maffet Street School in
Plains Township now provides a classy
home to a successful business enterprise.
        My old elementary school in Hazleton
is now an apartment complex. I can kind of
understand that as I slept there myself a lot
when I attended as a student.
         Wilkes-Barre, of course, will get one
big new school out of its current dilemma.
Hope they're planning on some maintenance
once it's built...and that all your NEWS is

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


                HOW SWEET IT IS!

    I used to work in Nanticoke. WNAK radio.
1963. I had to drive there from my home in
Hazleton every morning.
     The old WNAK isn't there any more and
I'm not usually in Nanticoke these days. But
I was there yesterday.
       My wife and I were out for a short ride
in the Miata when I found myself on the San
Souci Highway heading towards town.
       In all honesty there's not many things to
attract me to Nanticoke these days. But as
we were driving both my wife and I remembered
       The Sanitary Bakery!!!!
       I don't know who came up with the name.
I would hope that all bakeries are sanitary! But
the place reminds me of all the old neighborhood
bakeries that used to be around back in the good
old days. You know. Bakeries that had their glass
enclosed shelves filled with goodies like Jelly
donuts, Long Johns, and brownies!
         One could gain 3pounds just by window
shopping there!
          I certainly don't need the calories so I had
my wife go in. She came out with a box of treats
and an order of Haluski!  
           Our first attack on the pastries came as I
pulled away from the curb in front of the place.
That was followed by a second helping after
dinner. It took exceptional will power to stay
away from the remaining bounty while I sat
up writing this Blog.
          Today, however, is a different story! By
the time many of you read this I will have
devoured one of the brownies!
           Like I said earlier, there's not many things
to attract me to Nanticoke these days. Except
            Hope I get back soon...and that all your
NEWS is good!


Monday, September 19, 2016


               SECOND SEASON!

       The long, hot summer seems to be
paying dividends we didn't expect!
        My wife has always had a lot of
flowers growing around our place. But
we've never had a garden.
        There is a blueberry bush that has
provided us with some nice fruit over
the years. And we're still "liberating"
pears from the tree growing right
across the street. The new tenants said
it was OK after we mentioned, as often
as possible, that we like pears!
        The other day my wife was watering
 some of her plants when she  noticed the
 pepper plants that had been given  to us
 a month or two ago were sprouting  new
 peppers! We had already enjoyed a
 harvest from those plants so seeing new
 growth was a welcome sight!
         Just minutes later, as I was covering
 my Miata, I spotted something red in the
 bushes nearby. A closer inspection
 reveled there were new strawberries popping
 through! Here again, we had already pulled
 a nice batch from those bushes weeks ago!
 They're not large. But they're plenty sweet!
         Somehow, without really trying, we
 seem to have developed a green thumb!
          Now may be a good time to report
 our unexpected success to the Department
 of Agriculture! Maybe we can pull the plants
 and get paid for not growing anything next
 year! Either that or start showing up at the
 Farmer's Markets once we get one full quart
 of something!
           Hope the apple cores I tossed around
 bear fruit...and that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, September 18, 2016



    You hear a lot about "Fair weather friends."
You know. Those who are glad to be with
you when things are fine but are otherwise
hard to find.
    I'm lucky to have some "All weather friends."
Take my buddy Bob and his wife.
    Bob and I went to grade school together.
Though separated by about 5 hours these days
we get together whenever we can. Fair weather
or not!
     Sunday's forecast was for cloudy skies, rain
and thunder showers. But we had planned to
get together at Knoebel's Amusement Park. So,
we decided we'd take whatever Mother Nature
decided to throw at us so that we could get
      As it happens Mother Nature apparently
didn't hear the forecast. The clouds did show
up. But that actually made for a perfect day at
the park!
     My buddy hadn't been there for some 20
years and was delighted the park had maintained
it's nostalgic look and feel.
     We took in a few of the rides ourselves and
even let his wife "drive" the antique autos. She
hasn't been able to drive for years! You could
see the apprehension and yet joy in her eyes!
     We enjoyed the setting, some park foods,
some rides, and mainly our time together! That
was capped off as the sun began to set and the
amusement ride lights really began to cast a
magical light through the early darkness!
      Rain or thunderstorms might have made
us duck for cover a bit. But not give up! We
are "All Weather Friends!"
      Hope you have some too and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, September 17, 2016


     SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH., 2016

  I'd like to begin today's blog with a very big
Thank You to all my readers and Facebook
friends that took the time to send me Birthday
greetings yesterday!
   When I was just a little kid my Mom would
throw a big party for me and all the kids from
the neighborhood would show up for games,
food, and Birthday cake.
    Yesterday, in spite of my advancing years,
I felt like I was back home and just a little
kid again.
     That's partly because a whole bunch of
kids showed up for yesterday's Birthday
Party. You see the party was for my
grand daughter who  just turned 6. She
actually made that turn a few weeks ago.
But her Mom felt is was better to wait till
she got back to school to have her party so
more of her friends, old and new, would be
able to attend.
     As it happens the first available date
was on my Birthday!
     I had hoped all her little friends might
bring presents for me too. But I guess they
didn't get the memo.
     Fortunately my own children and
grand children did bring presents for
both of us and....we both made out very
     It was nice to share my Birthday
with my grand daughter. And, as far as
presents go, I'm still in the lead. Of course
that's because I've had 68 more birthdays!
     Hope you had as good a day as we had
and that all your NEWS is good!