Wednesday, November 30, 2016
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1ST., 2016
Well December showed up right on
schedule so the countdown to Christmas
has officially begun.
I'm a bit behind schedule myself.
We had hoped to start on decorations
the other day, But the weather put a
damper on that.
While we were inside, rather
than out hanging lights in the rain, the
spirit showed up right in our living
It was the first of what I'm sure
will be many showings of "A Christmas
Carol." This one featured Reginald Owen.
It's from 1938. Four years before I saw
my first Christmas.
There have been many versions
over the years including one with an old
west setting featuring Hazleton's own, the
late Jack Palance.
When I was a kid my parents,
brother, and I used to sit around an old
phonograph every Christmas eve and
listen to the story narrated by Lionel
Barrymore on a set of 78rpm records.
To me the story s as much a
part of Christmas as those outside
decorations and the tree.
I've got a few versions on
tape and dvd. I've even got those old
78rpm records. Maybe I can listen to
and watch them while my wife does
the decorations. I wonder that she'd
think about that?
Maybe I'd better not ask!
Hope we catch up with the
season soon and that all your NEWS
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH., 2016
CALL OFF WELL DAY!
It's the 30th of November....another one of those
bizarre "holidays" that few people know anything
about! But you've got to love this one!
This is "Stay At Home Because You're Well Day!"
I kid you not!
According to Wellcat.com, the creators of this special
day, the objective is to call in "well" to your work. It's
as simple as that. It is, by the way, a copyrighted
So, if you're reading this first thing in the morning,
you should pick up the phone, call your boss, and tell
him or her you won't be coming in today because
you're feeling really good.
Chances are there will be a pause or, perhaps, a
good laugh on the other end. Use that moment to
say something like "see you tomorrow' then
quickly hang up, go out and enjoy your day.
You shouldn't feel guilty. You're being honest.
Think about how many of your coworkers make
the same kind of call....only claiming they're sick...
then hang up, go out and enjoy their day.
Anything ever happen to them? Probably not.
I like the idea of another day off. But the end
of November isn't what I'd call "Prime Time."
And yet I find that Wellcat.com is affiliated
with a company called Wellcat Herbs which is
based in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Maybe it's a
little warmer there?
Wellcat.com has copyrighted some 80 "holidays."
Classics like "Bathtub Party Day, Pick A
Pathologist Day, and Barbie and Barney Backlash
Day" to name just a few.
With an outstanding record like that it seems
quite clear these "holidays" are serious events!
In fact I'm so inspired I believe I'll pick up my
own telephone right now, call WYOU and.........
...oh.......wait a minute. I'm retired.
Maybe I can ask my wife if I can put off that
"Things To Do List?"
Hope your boss will understand when you
call in well! Just in case he doesn't you can find
the number of your local Bureau of Employment
Security Office on or in the phone book if you
still have one.
I wish you well in the future and hope
all your NEWS will be good!
Monday, November 28, 2016
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH., 2016
I was left very disappointed by my
snack last night. Oh it tasted just fine.
What got me was the sticker shock.
Don't get me wrong. The price
was reasonable. Still, it was the
sticker shock that got me. I
mentioned this back around
Halloween/ But it's time we really
got into it!
You see my snack was a box of
Cracker Jack. Heck you remember
those famous treats. They're even
part of the 'Baseball Anthem!"
They've been around since 1896.
In 1912 the company started to include
a prize in every box.
It always seemed like a great deal
to me. Molasses flavored caramel
coated popcorn. Some peanuts. And
And the prizes were kind of neat.
Not big. But neat. Maybe a little
plastic airplane. Or a flute. Maybe
a decoder ring or something like that.
But yesterday when I opened
my box all I found was a little
sticker. I'm think you're suppose to
use them to redeem a game or
something from the company. It was
pure sticker shock!
Maybe I can find some really
old boxes somewhere. I know the
popcorn would be stale. But the
prizes would be neat! Hope I get a
decoder ring..and that all your
NEWS is good!
Sunday, November 27, 2016
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH., 2016
I borrowed my grandson for a couple
hours Sunday while his Mom and Dad were
tied up on a project.
It was too cold for a walk outside. I
thought I might take him to the mall for
a walk inside. We were actually headed
that way when I spotted the sign outside
the Oblates of Saint Joseph in Jenkin's
Township. It read 'Train Show, November
27th. ' And guess what? It was November
27th! No second thought needed. We were
going there! Just a moment later my cell
It was my son. He just wanted to tell
me had seen a sign about a Train Show
in Jenkin's Township just in case we were
in that neighborhood. I told him we were
not only in the neighborhood....we were
in the Parking Lot!
The little guy and I went inside and
took in all the wonderful railroad
atmosphere! There were all kinds of
trains for sale and several really neat
working layouts too.
One, just about at eye level for
my little buddy, caught our eyes right
away. He watched intently as the
locomotive made it's way around the
track. I was thinking it would be neat
if he could hear the whistle.
Just then the operator hit his remote
switch and sounded the train whistle!
We enjoyed some wonderful time
together watching the trains on display.
There were some neat toy cars too and
I was giving some thought about
getting a small one for him as a
"treasure" from the show.
Minutes later one of the vendors
showed me a little toy truck and asked
if it would be all right to give it to my
grandson! "Of course" I said "and
thank you so very much!"
Hope the stop made a memory,
and that all your NEWS is good!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH., 2016
DINNER IS SERVED
The Thanksgiving meal was
fantastic. The left overs were great.
Now it's time to eat! And I know
just the place!
For the past 64 years the folks
at the Unityville Volunteer Fire
Department have prepared their
Buckwheat Pancake and Sausage
Dinner (or Breakfast) on the holiday
weekend following Thanksgiving.
From Midnight on the holiday
till Midnight the following Sunday
their Fire Hall is turned into a
dinning room while the volunteers
serve up a family style that's hard
Besides the pancakes and
sausage with their special meat
made to order, they offer potatoes,
baked beans and gravy.
My family and I have become
regulars. But there are plenty of
those. I love the meal. And I'm
always impressed by the firemen,
their wives, sons, and daughters
who all volunteer their time and
talents to raise the money needed
to keep this vital fire company
As I said, the pancakes and
sausage come family style. So as
long as you're sitting there the food
just keeps coming. I didn't want to
hurt the chefs feelings...so I just
I only left as a public service
gesture to make room for the others
who kept coming through the door.
If you haven't visited you owe
it to yourself to go. Take Route 118
west past Ricket's Glen State Park
and the turn to Eagle's Mere. A few
miles more and you'll see the left
turn to Unityville. Follow the road
for about a mile or so and you'll
see the firehouse on the left.
If you're reading this anytime
before 10pm you've got plenty of
time. And, who knows, you may
even see me. I'm thinking of going
back for more!
Hope their supplies hold out
and that all your NEWS is good!
Friday, November 25, 2016
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH., 2016
SOUNDS OF THE SEASON
Look. I like the holiday season as much
as anybody. But I have to admit the sounds
of the season got me a little jittery when I
heard them Friday.
A couple radio stations started playing
the traditional Christmas carols on
Thanksgiving. But those aren't the
seasonal sounds I had in mind. In fact I
might have been listening to them as I
went out for a short walk in the morning.
But I forgot my portable radio and my
That's too bad because the headset
might have covered the sounds of the
season that caused the jitters!
You see I often walk along a back
road not far from our house. I noticed
a couple vehicles parked just off that
road and even among some trees. I
didn't really think too much about them
until I heard those sounds of the season.
They were gunshots. Shotguns I
believe. Deep in the woods I'm sure.
But they are the woods near which I
walk. There were five during the
course of my constitutional.
I know Deer season begins on
Monday so I'm not exactly sure what
season this is. I'm afraid it might be
Turkey. I've been called a "Turkey"
from time to time. I could only hope
those guys back in the woods with
the shotguns didn't know that!
Of course the first shot I heard
rang out after I was already half
way into my walk so I had reached
the point of no return!
I whistled all the way back.
I figured good hunters would know
turkeys don't whistle.
I may switch my route for a
Hope that's safer and that
all your NEWS is good.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25TH., 2016
SO GLAD TO BE "STUFFED!"
Wow! Another great Thanksgiving meal
is in the books (and in me as well!).
Every year I look forward to the turkey
the mashed potatoes, and, of course, the
desserts! I am a meat and potatoes man!
In years past I might have scoped a
very small portion of filling on my plate
just to be sociable. I doubt that more than
a forkful every found its way into my
There was an exception. It was years
ago when my Dad was still around. He
often made an Italian stuffing that
featured hot Italian sausage and a nice
My wife remembered helping him
with it once. So this year we stopped
at an Italian grocery store where she
managed to find just the right cheese. We
already had the sausage and, on Wednesday
night, she began to put what she remembered
as the recipe together.
At the Thanksgiving table I took my
usual portion of turkey and mashed
potatoes. Then, almost as it their were
a drumroll in the background, I put a
portion of the stuffing on my plate. I
tasted it first, so I could put it aside if
it were "stuffing as usual."
But she got it! Wow! It was
fantastic. My second helping was
followed by a portion placed in a
plastic container to bring home with
some left over turkey!
Dad would be proud!
Hope she remembers how she
made it and that all your NEWS is
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH., 2016
THE GHOST OF THANKSGIVINGS PAST
Thanksgiving Day is filled with traditions.
Many of them, of course, are centered around
the menu for the day. And stuffed Turkey tops
that list. (I'm not totally sure why you have to
stuff them.....the one we got wasn't empty!)
But one Turkey Day tradition is pretty much
"Back in the day" local High Schools used to
meet on the Gridiron for a sort of "king of the hill"
In my case the rivalry was between Hazleton,
my home town, and West Hazleton.
Most everybody went to those games.
In 1957 5,500 fans showed up in a steady rain
at Harman Geist Stadium for the big Thanksgiving
I was there too......right on the field.....sort of.
As I've written before, I was a "Manager" for
Now before you get me confused with the likes
of Joe Maddon, the term "manager" in my sense
meant that I and my fellow managers hauled and
packed the uniforms , carried the water buckets, and
quite often, hoisted the stretcher as we carried
injured players off the field. Often through the mud!
Though it was only my sophomore year I "retired"
from that prestigious position and joined the Stage
crew the next year. Everything we did there was
inside and dry!
Still, in many ways, I miss those Thanksgiving
Hazleton did very well during my High School
days. We beat West Hazleton in 57, 58, and 1959!
But the game isn't the only thing that's disappeared!
My Blue & White "Mountaineers" have become the
Red, Silver, and White "Cougars" as part of a merger that
united Hazleton and West Hazleton High Schools! Guess
it's a lot more colorful now. Even our photos were in
black and white!
You probably had a similar Thanksgiving day High
School Football rivalries in your now. Most are gone
now. But there are a few that have preserved the
And I say good for them!
I, on the other hand, will continue my own rivalry
as I take on the turkey!
It hasn't got a chance even with its wishbone
formation! I'll just do an end run around the table!
Hope you're enjoying your own traditions, are
enjoying a happy Thanksgiving and that all you NEWS
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD., 2016
OH HAPPIE DAY!
Please accept today's Blog as a "Thank You"
to all of you who took the time to pick my daily
essay as "Best Blog" in Happening Magazine's
This is the second consecutive year my
blog was selected in a contest that allows
readers to vote on line or by mail on the best
businesses in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Of course my blog is far from being a
business. I usually just kind of throw it
together based on nutty things I've noticed.
Most of the time they're things that have
happened to me during my daily existence.
Last year I was unaware of the contest.
The results took me by surprise!
It was different this year. I knew the
competition had started. After pausing
for just a moment I even cast a vote for
myself. I wasn't sure I should. But then
I realized it was pretty likely that Donald
and Hillary both voted for themselves!
And what if there was a tie? Maybe my
vote made the difference!
On Tuesday at the Raddison the
magazine threw a big luncheon for all
the winners. I was in some really high
class company! I'd like to congratulate
all of those who received the "Happie
Award! You can see all the winners in
the December issue of Happenings.
They give it away free!
Kind of like my Blog!
You should get it every month
and watch for next year's contest.
Maybe I can get the Triple Crown!
They ought to have one for
the best readers. You guys would be
a shoe in!
Hope you're all "Happie" and
that all your NEWS is good!
Monday, November 21, 2016
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND., 2016
LIFE ON THE ESCALATOR!
I made a stop at Boscov's in Scranton on my
way to do my program on Electric City TV.
Although "Black Friday" crowds were still
five days away it was pretty oblivious there
were a lot more people shopping than usual.
I found it really neat to look at the
shoppers as I headed down the escalator from
the second to the first floor. The "aerial view"
brought back memories of my home town
Department store back in the day. It was the
We didn't have any skyscrapers in the
city of Hazleton. But when you were "going
up" in any of our taller buildings you likely
rode an elevator. And all the elevators back
then had operators. You know, a man or
woman who asked what floor you were
headed for, shut the gate-like door, and
whisked you to your destination!
But the Leader Store also had an
escalator. A true wonder to a young boy!
Stairs that moved all by themselves so
you didn't have to!
I, and I'm sure many of my friends,
used to visit the store just to ride up to
the second floor, then go back down.
Sometimes we'd take a few steps
backwards to extend the ride. Unless,
of course, there were customers on
the steps behind you. You never
wanted them to know you were just
in the store for the ride!
There was a third floor too. But
visits there were limited to December
when Santa set up shop.
Funny. On Monday I watched the
customers checking out all the
merchandise. When I was a kid I was
more concerned about clerks who
might be watching me. I didn't know
if there was a rule or policy about
riding the escalator without ever
The Leader Store is long gone
now. I often wondered what they did
with the old escalators. I wonder if they've
Anyway it's good to know there
are others around and still operating.
One of these days, when I've got no
particular destination in mind you just
might find me riding one up, then down,
just for the heck of it.
Hope the clerks don't mind and
that all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, November 20, 2016
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST., 2016
Seems like somebody in the midwest
left a door open mid way through
Saturday and winter walked into the
It was warm enough in the morning
to put the top down in my sports car.
Thankfully I didn't. I would have been
frozen by the time I came home.
Worse than that all the weather guys
were predicting our first snow of the
season. My part of the area was suppose
to get about an inch.
Sure enough that inch came.
Unfortunately it was buried under 5
other inches that fell on top of it!
Of course even the thought of
just an inch was enough to touch off
the first seasonal attack of customers
for bread and milk.
Our own supply of bread is a
little light and we found ourselves
down to about a quarter bottle of
milk. Fortunately we had attended
the open house and tent sale at
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates before
the snow started so we have enough
candy to hold us through mid
We may decide to ration our
chocolate based on the possibility
we may see more snow sometime
this winter. Or, I may just decide
to take a chance and load up on
the calories for energy against the
Hope you survived....and
that all your NEWS is good!
Saturday, November 19, 2016
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH., 2016
LOOKING FOR OOMPA LOOMPAS!
If you've never see the movie "Willie
Wonka" (either version) you should
probably stop reading now!
Wonka aficionados know all too well
that Willie could never produce his
scrumdiddlyumptious candy products
without his dependable assistants.
Gertrude Hawk Candy doesn't
have any Oompa Loompas. My wife,
daughter, grand daughter and my
daughter's exchange student were
looking for the little guys as they
joined thousands of other folks
who turned out for the company's
Open House Saturday.
What Gertrude Hawk does
have is a staff of dedicated and
creative employees who seem
very proud to show off their
work and their artistic talents.
During open house each
production line adopts a theme.
The workers set up props and
wear costumes to support their
theme and the visitors get a
chance to vote for their favorite.
This year, for instance, there
was a Wild West theme and a
"Frozen" theme just to name two.
Of course the long line of
visitors are also offered samples
of all those delicious Gertrude
Hawk chocolates! I doubt
anyone turns down that offer!
So, with plenty of
chocolate, imaginative displays,
and a friendly work force......who
needs Oompa Loompas!
Hope Slugworth doesn't try
to steal this idea.....and that all your
NEWS is good!
Friday, November 18, 2016
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH., 2016
THE CONE BEFORE THE STORM!
So all I've been hearing for the past week is
about the snow that's due to arrive in our area
Sunday night into Monday morning. I don't
know how much. I'm not a weather guy even
though many people think I was because I
was always sent out on snow storm stories
back in my days on the news beat. The actual
weather guys usually stayed in side the
studio under those nice warm lights.
But I digress. On the eve or the eve of
the storm we decided to greet the near 70
degree temperatures by putting the top down
in the Miata and heading out on the road.
It was only in the high 50's or low 60's
as we started so warm jackets were in order
and, I admit, we began our trip with the
By the time we were an hour or so into
our adventure things warned up quite a bit.
Still, there was a decision to be made. We
discussed it for a moment and decided to
stop by our favorite ice cream shop....IF..
a parking spot was available in front in
the sunlight! Shadows can drop the temp
by 8 to 10 degrees!
As luck would have it the block in
front of the ice cream parlor was open.
But there was only one spot where the
sun was shining through. We pulled in
there and enjoyed our "cone" before the
storm. Although in our case we favored a
cup over an actual cone.
A lady pulled in just in front of us a
few minutes later and, for just a second,
I thought she was thinking of backing in
to me! Turns out our spot was right in
front of her house. That extra car length
must have been rough on her!
Anyway we finished just as she was
letting her dogs out and, rather than
waiting to see if they'd be set on us,
we pulled away to head on home.
Hope we're able to fight the
storms to get back there soon....and that
all your NEWS is good!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH., 2016
SUCK IT UP!
My grand daughter was kind enough
to give me the leftover popcorn from her
movie visit. I was foolish enough to try
to eat it in the car as I drove home.
Days later my wife discovered that
some of the popcorn had escaped its
container and found its way into the
small spaces in between the front seats
of the car. She suggested I find my way
to a car wash immediately to, I believe
the term was, clean up my mess!
I pulled into a car wash close to
home which offers, in addition to the
high pressure water hoses, several large
"Super Vac" units. These massive
vacuum cleaners have huge hoses big
enough to suck up a baseball! Of
course our target was popcorn and
the machine hauled up all but a few
pieces that fell to the ground as the
nozzle was shifted from front seat
to the back.
The only thing the "Super Vac"
hauled up faster than popcorn....was
quarters! Whoever designed the thing
did some fancy calculations to figure
out just how to shut off the machine
about two minutes before you're
able to vacuum an entire car! So, we
had to feed it twice!
Now I'm hoping we actually got
it all...and that all your NEWS is good!
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH., 2016
FRIENDS TILL THE END!
A couple weeks ago the host of "Jimmy
Kimmel Live" (his name is Jimmy Kimmel)
announced his intention to promote today.
November 17th. as "National UnFriend Day!"
The well know comedian argues that
Facebook friends are undermining true friendships.
He points out that no one can actually know the
average of 130 friends people have on the
social media site.
He's right. I don't really "know" most of
the 3634 people currently listed as my FB
Friends. Many knew me from my work on
television and sent the initial Friend Request
to me. And a lot of those to whom I have sent
a request are know to me through the broadcasting
business or other off line connections.
Even though they're listed as friends I'm
sure some folks don't really take the time to
read or "like" my posts or my daily blog.
Still I don't intend to participate in this
"National Day." Now to be totally honest I
have unfriended a couple people from time
to time. Almost always because of language
I find objectionable.
I was very tempted to erase a few
during the recent election but choose,
instead, to remain silent and continue
with my posts on every day life. As I've
written more than once..."A closed mouth
gathers no feet."
Rather than begin a massive Unfriend
effort I have decided to send a Friend Request
to Jimmy Kimmel! Hope he accepts me and
that all your NEWS is good.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH.,2016
LET'S MAKE THIS QUICK!
OK. Here it is in a nutshell gang. This is
National Fast Food Day!
The pace of live in America is fast and
during the 1950's the food industry began
to address that pace by developing Fast
Ironically many of the outlets that
lead the way vanished nearly as fast as
they arrived. Remember Carrols or
Stop and Go? When those chains were
around you could pick up a burger,
fries, and a soft drink, give the clerk a
dollar and get change! Hamburgers at
the original McDonalds were 15 cents!
For 3 cents more you could add a slice
Of course McDonalds, Burger
King and a host of other fast food
places are around these days so you
should have no trouble celebrating
the day. But you will need a little
more than 15 cents!
Hope you still get some change
and that all your NEWS is good!
Monday, November 14, 2016
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH., 2016
About now a lot of folks around this
area are lamenting the loss of those
beautiful autumn leaves that have colored
our woodlands over the past four or five
weeks. There's still plenty of color here
or there. But, for the most part, the leaves
now cover the round instead of the trees.
I enjoy the fall foliage as much as
anyone. But I also enjoy the opportunity
that comes with the fallen leaves!
Years ago I pointed out to my wife
that the absence of leaves offers a view
we don't have most of the year.
It's really great for kids (like me)
when we play the "I Spy game" in the
car. There's really a lot more to see......
if you take the time to look!
Last week, in a rural area just a
few miles from I actually turned the
car around to confirm what I thought I
saw in a heavily wooded area. And I
was right! Not far off the roadway in
a spot usually blocked from view by
the leaves I spotted an old cabin. The
property was marked "No Trespassing."
But my camera lens was able to
validate what I saw.
So close to home. But I never
knew it was there!
Do yourself a favor and keep your
eyes open. You may be vey surprised
at what you might find!
Hope you enjoy the "new" view
and that all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, November 13, 2016
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH., 2016
WORKING IN THE RAILROAD!
I've always been a fan of Eurana Park in
Weatherly. It's a community park right out
of a story book. There's a swimming area
local kids use in the summer. Picnic
Pavilions and playgrounds. There's Disc
Golf and Tennis courts. There's even a
Band shell that makes me think I've
stepped into the Twilight Zone's town
And then there's the "Basketball
Building." It's a structure in the middle
of the park with an indoor basketball
But this past weekend the court was
taken over my members of the Pocono
Mountain Garden Railway Society.
This model Railroad club set up a
beautiful train layout and invited the
community in, free of charge, to
enjoy the display.
Several members of my family
took advantage of that invitation, much
to our delight. I was especially thrilled
to see a working model of a "Bud Car"
(a self propelled passenger car) exactly
like the full size version I used to take
from Hazleton to, ironically, Weatherly
when I was a kid. My Mom and Dad
would take me aboard that train then
grab a taxi to Eurana Park! The
same train took to Jim Thorpe where
I boarded the old Lehigh Valley "Black
Diamond" to New York City.
"Kids" of all ages turned out to
see the display which, I'm sure, brought
back memories for the older ones (like
me) and, perhaps, produced some
new, younger, model railroad fans!
I hope that's the case...and that
all your NEWS is good!