Monday, October 31, 2016


                     THE HAUL!

       Judging from the contents of my
grandson's bag Trick or Treating proved
to be very successful this year.
       He returned from his outing and
deposited the contents of his bag on the
living room floor to be sorted. You know.
One pile for potato chips. One for pretzels.
Then additional piles for chocolate,
licorice, and the rest. Enough sugar to
have him and his dentist smiling for
months to come!
       There was a steady flow of
costumed kids visiting his house while
he went to others.
       It used to be that way at our house
too. But no more. Since we had planned
to spend a few hours at our daughter's
house we simply left a bowl of goodies
on our front porch with a sign that read
"Take one."
        Where we returned, however, we
found the bowl untouched. We either
had no trick or treaters or those who
came couldn't read the sign. My wife
wrote it in cursive!
         It's all good though. I consider
the untouched treats to be mine! In
fact I immediately dug into a box of
Cracker Jack! I admit I was a bit
disappointed. The caramel coated
pop corn was a good as ever. But the
"prize" turned out to be a cheesy
sticker! I remember when Cracker
Jacks offered good plastic prizes or
whistles or the like.
       But the rest should be OK. There's
enough chocolate to last me for a week.
OK. Maybe three days.
       Hope I can get this sticker off
my hand and that all your NEWS is


Sunday, October 30, 2016


    MONDAY, OCTOBER 31ST., 2016

    Tis said "Into each life a little rain must
fall." And it did. Sunday!
     The morning wasn't too bad. Fairly
mild under cloudy skies. I was dry heading
into and out of church.
      It looked like those conditions might
last as my wife and I joined our son, daughter-
in law, and two grandkids at the annual Plains
Lions Club Trick or Trunk Halloween party.
But looks can be deceiving!
      Just before the long line of costumed
kids headed for their first truck the skies
opened up dumping some heavy rain on
the crowd which, of course, included me.
      It didn't last very long and the event
proved very successful. Of course I was
already wet.
       As I headed home the rain started
coming down heavier! Then I saw the
flash and heard the thunder!
        Surely my grandson's soccer
game would be cancelled. They had
already sent the kids back to their parent's
cars. one was leaving. The Ref's
said they would wait one half hour.
         So, just in case, I changed out of
my wet morning clothes and started
towards the field in Mountaintop.
          Just before I got there the rain
all but stopped and the game got started,
So I settled in to watch the contest.
          It was going pretty well when
the clouds found where I was sitting and
opened up again! I hoisted my trusty
umbrella above my folding seat and
sat, almost comfortably, while the kids
played in the rain. That went well until
I felt the water running off my umbrella,
and onto my back.
         I celebrated my grandson's team win
by turning up the heat in my car, heading
home, and changing again!
          As I write I am in my third pair of
pants and bound and determined not to
go outside again, whatever happens!
           Hope my socks dry soon, and
that all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, October 29, 2016


      SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30TH., 2016

     Halloween. It may have been my
Mom's favorite holiday with the
exception of Christmas.
     When I was a kid Halloween
parties were common at my house.
I would sit around our dining room
table with my friends. My Mom would
turn out the lights then begin to
narrate a scary story about a madman
who killed and dismembered his
     As she spoke the "body parts" had
to be passed from one guest to the
next. The heart was, in reality, a
chicken liver. The eyes were actually
grapes. After her tale ended those
who made it through the sitting
were able to see the innocent parts
they had held.
      I suspect some of my buddies,
at or in their 70s, can attribute some of
their fears and nightmares to those
Halloween stories at my house!
      After the party we set out to
roam our neighborhood in search
of some candy and, if we were
lucky, a few coins here or there.
We didn't call it "Trick or Treating."
Back then we just went out
"Halloweening!" Maybe it was a
Hazleton thing.
      More often than not our
costumes were home made, perhaps
enhanced with a mask of some sort.
And we were usually expected to
sing, recite a poem, or tell a joke
before we got that treat!
       Candy didn't have to be X-rayed,
and a quarter would buy a comic
book and a bottle of soda. And you
could get two cents of that quarter
back when you returned the empty
bottle to the store!
       I guess that's what we mean
when we speak of the "good old
       Hope you have a Happy
Halloween and that all your
NEWS is good!

Friday, October 28, 2016



   The city of Pittston has been undergoing
a renaissance over the past few years. Now
community leaders are doing whatever they
can to bring people to Pittston to see what's
been done.
     Well it sure worked last evening!
      For the second time in as many years
merchants got together to open their doors
to trick or treaters! Thousands of kids in
costume, accompanied by their parents,
jammed Main Street and its shops.
       While the kids enjoyed the treats the
parents got a look at some places they
might not otherwise have seen!
         Snow White showed up to greet
the visitors and pose for photos. There
was music from the city's band shell
and even free hot chocolate to counter
the chilly evening.
         I almost got myself in trouble
complimenting one young gentleman
on his costume. Turns out he really
was a Policeman!
         Hope he assumes I was just
someone dressed as David DeCosmo
and that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, October 27, 2016



   We like to load the grandson in his
stroller and take a nice walk when he
visits each week. But Thursday's steady
rain didn't make for a good walking day.
Not outside anyway.
    So, we decided to go inside! At the
    It's a pretty quiet place in the morning.
A few shoppers and some seniors who
must have decided to take their daily
stroll inside too!
     I had remembered seeing some neat
strollers for kids right inside the place.
They've got a steering wheel so the kids
feel like they're driving the thing. We
decided to get one even though the 5
dollar rental rate seemed more appropriate
for Avis than a stroller designed to
entertain kids while their care givers
spend money in the place.
      It might be one of the reasons Malls
are in sort of a decline. We found a few
more examples in an area featuring some
amusement rides. It costs 75 cents for a
minute ride sitting along side Barney in
a train, and another three quarters to
ride the horse or "fly" the helicopter.
      We figured it would be a lot less
expensive to just let the little guy walk
around the place.
       However, after he stopped to check
our several jewelry displays, we decided
it was time to leave.
        Hope he didn't notice those specials
on diamonds...and that all your NEWS
is good!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016


              TELL ME A STORY!

     Today I celebrate a "holiday" not of
our making! October 27th., is National
Tell A Story Day in England and Scotland.
      We've got a similar day here. But it's
six months from now and not nearly as
organized as the one across the pond.
Libraries there celebrate by reading or
telling stories to kids. Teachers and
parents are encouraged to do the same.
       I have always loved telling stories.
I've even written a few for kids.
       Of course, as my grandkids, will
attest, I some times take a few liberties
in the telling. They often object, for
instance, when I relate that Little Red
Riding Hood was in the little pig's
straw house when Humpty Dumpty,
and Jack and Jill rolled in breaking
down the wall while, next door, the
Big Bad Wolf was eating the baby
bear's porridge! I call it artistic
license. They usually just shake their
       But whether you've got the story
right or wrong......tell one. And do it
      Hope the kids or grandkids enjoy
it and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


              A WINTER REMINDER!

     Wasn't it just a couple of days ago I had
the top down in the Miata and was driving
around enjoying the Fall weather?
      I was prepared for lower temperatures.
They always come around a couple days
around this time of the year But while I
was waiting for the return of Indian
summer I drove our other vehicle on my
shopping assignment to Walmart.
      That's when it happened. The sky
turned dark and a machine gun like
"click, click, click" resonated on my
windshield! It wasn't rain. It wasn't snow.
It was sleet!
       Tiny drops of the frozen rain pelted
my car for about 3 minutes. It melted on
the windshield and in the parking lot. It
moments after it hit. But it seemed a
sudden reminded of what's just around
the corner. Winter!
        Hope the preview isn't a sign of
anything imminent...and that all your
NEWS is good!

Monday, October 24, 2016


              END OF AN ERA!

     Christmas will not be the same this
year as one of my favorite Christmas
traditions will likely have vanished.
     After 61 years of operation by the
same family Ledoretti's Gas station in
Plains Township will be closing. Of
course to be more accurate I should call
it Ledorettis Service Station. Or maybe,
to some of us, Ledoretti's Luncheonette!
     The brothers, and one of their sons,
have welcomed customers to their place
for years. And if you happen to be there
around lunch time you're sure to be
invited to share in whatever happens to
be available that day.
      There's no separation of clients and
mechanics at their place. You're welcome
to sit close by as the boys check your oil
or make repairs. In fact it's like an old
time barber shop where the owners and
customers sit around and talk about what's
happening in the community.
      And then there's Christmas! Every
Christmas there's a whole table set up
with home made food and goodies and
they're offered to anyone and everyone
who stops by. Most usually contribute to
the bounty. I traditionally brought in some
kielbasa which they promptly roasted on
their coal fired furnace.
      The brothers are up in years now and
the son can't handle a repair shop on his
own. So the family has decided to sell.
Hopefully there will be a buyer. But
without this family the place can never be
the same. It is the end of an era!
      I stopped by yesterday to save goodbye
although I expect to return at least once 
before they lock the doors. I ended up visiting
for an hour during which I was served a
pancake and, later, some pizza another
customer brought in!
       Not sure how I'll handle Christmas this
year. Hope they set up a table in the empty
garage just one more time! I also hope all
their, and your, NEWS is good!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


    MONDAY, OCTOBER 24TH., 2016
           DeCOSMO SLEPT HERE!

    You've probably heard it said. "You
can't go home again." But yesterday I
     I bought too few Tea Biscuits when
I visited Sanape's Bakery earlier in the
week so I returned to rectify the situation.
     I don't know why but I suddenly had
a feeling to visit my old homestead.
     I drove around some of the streets
I had walked so often during my growing
up years. Many of the houses and stores
that were there then are still standing. A
lot are showing their age and, in the case
of the stores, most have changed their
appearance and merchandise to appeal
to a new generation of neighborhood
     I was pleasantly surprised to see my
old home looking pretty darn good! The
exterior looked clean and well kept. Some
of the small bushes I remember are still
there, only grown. The back yard that
once served as a Whiffle Ball, Football,
and camping field for all the neighborhood
kids is still there, only shortened a bit to
make room for off street parking.
     In all the place looked pretty much
the same as I remembered it...with one
exception! A "For Sale sign!"
     I guess the folks we sold it to are off
to new surroundings and looking for new
     I wonder if they'll tell them that I once
lived there. That I used to run my Lionel
trains in the basement and made a fort in
the area under the bedrooms. I wonder
if prospective buyers will hear about the
hole in the bedroom window caused by
a bb that came through just above my
head as I played on the floor. I wonder
if anybody knows  I began my journey
in this world right there in the house!
I don't know if we couldn't afford the
hospital or if I was just that impatient...
even then!
     Well I looked it up and according to
the relator's ad you can have this major
piece of my history for a mere $129,900!
I remember my Dad telling us he got it
for 9 or 10 thousand! Guess that's what
they call inflation!
      Hope it goes to a nice family and
that all their, and your, NEWS is good!


Saturday, October 22, 2016


    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23RD., 2016
           HOME IS THE SAILOR!

    My niece's husband was kind enough
to help me pull my yacht out of the water
Saturday. OK. So it's not your traditional
yacht. It's an 8 foot Jon boat. (I call it
"Jon Buoy.")
     It's the last remaining vessel in my once
large fleet. OK. So it wasn't exactly a fleet.
But there was a time when I did have three
boats all at the same time. A pontoon boat,
a paddle boat, and my little row boat.
     We kept Jon Buoy at an area State Park
throughout this past season. We figured if
it were that close we'd be more likely to
use it more.
      Ironically, given the fantastic summer
around these parts, it was only used on one
occasion! We actually ruled it out a couple
times because it was too darn hot to sit out
on the lake with the sun beating down and
its reflection beaming your face.
     Since the rental season ends with
October we figured it was time to bring
Jon Buoy back to dry dock for the winter.
      Maybe I'll go out from time to time
and cast an imaginary line into imaginary
lake and catch an imaginary whopper!
At least I won't have to row!
       Hope I'll launch again next season
and that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, October 21, 2016



    Since Friday started out much nicer than
expected in our area.......we started out too!
    Our initial intention was to catch more of
the beautiful fall foliage that's been on display
for the past couple weeks. We found plenty
of that.
     We also had made a mental note about
the delicious smoked wings that are on the
menu at Stiko's Farmhouse restaurant in
Dennison Township every Friday. So we
stopped in and polished off a couple
orders for lunch.
      A lot of places have good food. But
many have their own specialties that bring
people back time after time. After a visit
with my brother-in-law and his wife I
decided another specialty would be in
order for dinner. So we headed for my old
home town.
      There are several great foods natives
associate with Hazleton. Jimmy's hot
dogs, Third Base hoagies, and Senape's
Pizza. Senape's makes a square pizza
that's every bit as good cold as hot. My
taste buds just seemed to be calling out
for a couple slices yesterday.
       We got there around 4, just as the
dark clouds were beginning to cover
the sky. Since the top was down on my
Miata I figured a quick in and out would
be my best bet.
        But while I remembered the pizza
I forgot about some of the other goodies
produced by this landmark bakery! And
there they were...confronting me....Tea
Biscuits, Cinnamon buns, and Cheese
Danish just to name a few!  So, Yes, I
snapped! Or, in this case, senaped!
After all who knows when I'll pass that
way again?
      Hope it's soon and that all your
NEWS is good!



          INDIAN SUMMER?

     According to all those guys in the
TV Weather rooms we are about to feel
a very cold chill in the air! I don't know
how long it's suppose to last. But I do
know I've been very pleased with the
pleasant warm temperatures we enjoyed
earlier this week.
     I was tempted to call it "Indian
Summer." But according to the old
Farmer's Almanac I'd be wrong!
    Its criteria for an Indian summer
include days of warm weather that
follow a cold spell or a good hard
frost! The Almanac also tells us
those conditions have to occur between
November 11th and November 20th!
    I used to wonder why Indians
(native Americans to be politically
correct) had their own summer. But
the Almanac answered that too.
    It adheres to the theory that the
early settlers felt save to leave their
stockades unarmed once the cold
weather set in. Then you'd suddenly
get a couple warm days and Indians
would show up looking for a fight!
     See how far we've come! These
days a lot of folks are looking for a
fight whether it's warm or cold!
       Anyhow I'd like to a few more
warm days in the weeks ahead and
you can call them anything you want!
Hope they come soon and that all
your NEWS is good!  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


                 ENJOY, ENJOY!

      Wednesday's autumn drive took us,
most appropriately, past the Manny
Gordon Recreation site in Thornhurst.
       Manny served as a District
Forester for many years and was well
know for encouraging people to "Enjoy.
enjoy, the great outdoors!" In his case
it was a sincere wish.
        Those of us in the media all
considered Manny to be a good friend
and a man dedicated to the environment
even after his retirement.
         We could almost hear him calling
out as we drove through beautiful
forest land colored by Mother Nature
for autumn!
         I used to tease him, suggesting
we come up with a way to shellac the
leaves and glue them to the trees so we
could preserve the fall foliage for a
couple months. I never got his
endorsement on that one!
        I'll bet I would have had his
blessing for yesterday's informal tour
       Hope you're enjoying the season
and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


                   RIGHT ON TRACK!

      During World War II my Dad worker a
Defense job at the American Car and Foundry
Plant in Berwick. They made tanks for the
army. Years later I remember him telling me
they tested the armored vehicles on a track
near the river.
        When I worked in Berwick back in the
60's I would often hear comments about "the
Test Track." But I never actually saw it. Not
until yesterday!
         My wife and I were taking advantage
of the 80 degree October temperatures to
go for a ride. We don't always have a
destination in mind. But yesterday I set out
determined to find the track I had heard so
much about.
          Someone told me you turned at the
KMart. But our first turn lead to a parking
lot for tractor trailers. We decided to take
a quick rest stop at the store before trying
the second possible turn. That proved just
a bit costly as my wife spotted a couple
items on sale. One blouse, one scarf, and
one new outside rug later we learned that
second turn did, in fact, lead to what has
now become "Test Track Park."
         The community wisely decided to
convert the old tank testing ground into
a community park complete with playing
fields, a boat launch, and picnic facilities.
          We decided to test the picnic tables
at the old test track and a quick stop at a
nearby Burger King provided all the
fixings we needed! I'd say the Test Track
Park passed our test with flying colors
(or, in this case, flying, falling leaves
that floated into my car)!
           Looks like we've found another
favorite get away spot for an afternoon
picnic! Hope we get back again soon
and that all your NEWS is good!