Friday, March 31, 2017


      SATURDAY, APRIL 1ST., 2017

   I suppose it's just coincidence. My old
friend closed a letter this week with a question.
Did I remember "El Fonso?" Earlier in the
week I got a message from my niece who 
wondered if I wanted the painting of El
Fonso which, most recently, was in her
    Let's back up a bit. Even before I was
born a painting of what looked like a
Spanish Nobleman graced a wall in the
Dining room of my parent's home in
    All I ever knew about the painting
was that my Mom and Dad and brother
always referred to the gentleman in the
painting as "El Fonso." So that's what I
called him too.
     Why or how my family got the
painting was never questioned. It was
one of those portraits where the subject's
eyes seemed to follow you where ever
you moved. My Mom used to say he
watched over our home.
       After my Dad passed on my brother
and I eventually shared many of the
household items. My nephew still has
the Dining Room set under which I used
to hide while playing inside.
        My niece ended up with El Fonso
but doesn't have the room to display him.
        So he's coming back to me. Now
I'm going to have to do some research
to find out who this guy really was and
where the painting came from. Wish I
would have asked 60 years ago!
        Hope I get some answers and that
all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, March 30, 2017


   FRIDAY, MARCH 31ST., 2017
              IN A STEW!

    What happened to all the oysters?
    Many years ago my brother talked
me into trying the "soup" he was
having at Captain Starn's Restaurant
in Atlantic City. I loved it! But it
wasn't soup. It was Oyster Stew!
     Every since, especially on those
chilly, rainy nights when the rest of
the world was talking up Chicken
Noddle Soup, I've been craving
a nice hot bowl of Oyster Stew
filled with Oyster crackers too.
     But the search for my favorite
has me in a stew!
      Time was you could find at
least a couple cans of Campbell's
on the store shelves half hidden
by the plentiful supply of Clam
Chowder. But that all changed a
few years ago.
      Campbell's oyster stew was
recalled in 2012 over concerns
about the sanitation of oysters
harvested in Korea. While Korean
shellfish has since been reinstated by
the FDA, there is no indication that
Campbell's intends to return its oyster
stew to store shelves.
        A couple weeks go my wife
discovered another brand in a local
market. But there were only three
cans and one was dented. When I
returned to the same place this week
I couldn't even find a dented can!
     There's also an old saying that
you should only eat oysters in months
with an "R" in them. Modern
harvesting methods have pretty much
dispelled that caution. And I don't
think it applied to canned stews
        But that hardly matters when
you can find the cans! I'll just have
to step up my search!
        Hope I 'CAN' find some and that
al you NEWS is good.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017


   THURSDAY, MARCH 30TH., 2017
          WALK IN THE PARK!

    The phrase "a walk in the park"
suggests your task will be an easy one.
Well this is the day to check that out!
March 30th is "Take A Walk In The
Park Day!"
     I got a jump on this unusual
"holiday" Wednesday when the sun
was just bright enough to lure me
into a short walk along the Susquehanna
in West Pittston.
     I spotted a couple of benches just
waiting for their owners to show up
to enjoy the view. And Spring
flowers were shooting up as though
they were checking to make sure all
that blizzard snow was gone.
      It was still jacket weather. But
all signs point to days ahead when
a shorts will be the order of the
     Hope you'll get out for a bit 
 on this 'Walk in the park day" and
that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017



   This is a very big day at Niagara Falls.
   But it's no Honeymoon!
   March 29th is "Niagara Falls Runs Dry
   Local residents, and tourists, will be
celebrating an event that took place on
March 29th of 1848!
   Ice blocked the river on that day and
literally shut off the falls!
   I saw the same thing! But it was in
1969! Yep! I saw Niagara Falls turned
   My wife and I were on our Honeymoon
at the time and Niagara Falls was on our
list of places we wanted to see.
   Imagine our surprise when we got there
and found the falls, at least the American
falls, dry!
    It wasn't some David Copperfield trick
or the biggest plumbing problem you
ever saw. It was science.
    A team of engineers was conducting a
survey to determine how quickly the edge
of the falls was deteriorating. To do that
that had to stop the flow of water. So they
built a earth dam upstream and diverted
all of the river water over to the Canadian
    Any would be dare devil, thinking of
that old "over the falls barrel trick," probably
had second thoughts if he or she saw what's
really under those thousands of tons of
water that pour over the brink every second!
    People riding aboard the popular "Maid
of the Mist" got an up close view of boulders
as big as the iceberg that sank the Titanic!
    It was probably the biggest thing at the
Falls since 1953 when Marilyn Monroe
filmed a movie there!
    Of course the water is flowing again
these days. But the community, on both sides
of the border, is always looking for a reason
to celebrate. And you can be sure that none
of the pubs there will be "dry" today!
    I'll toss an ice cube or two in my Diet
Dr. Pepper and raise a toast to the falls
    Hope you'll get there one of these days
and that all your NEWS is good!

             Niagara Falls 1969


Monday, March 27, 2017


   TUESDAY, MARCH 28TH., 2017
            ONE LAST TIME!

     Regular readers know how I love
to did up unusual holidays and bring
them to your attention.
      Today, March 28th, is likely to
be my last chance to observe this
one so let's have at it.
       Ladies and Gentlemen. Children
of all ages. This is Barnum & Bailey
       136 years ago P.T. Barnum and
J.A. Bailey formed the circus know
as the Greatest Show on Earth! And
throughout those 136 years that show
has traveled around the nation and the
world entertaining millions of us with
three rings of dare devils, acrobats,
animals, and clowns.
       For several years in the 1950's
I got a back stage look at what had
by then become Ringling Brothers,
Barnum, and Bailey's Greatest Show
on Earth.
       My Dad used to work spotlight
when the circus played Madison     
Square Garden in New York City.
I got to watch as the acts prepared
for their entrance and often sit in the
Box seats usually reserved for the
Ringling family.
       Just for the record I never saw
any animals mistreated. Quite the
contrary. Those I saw were treated
mush better than some family pets!
       How ironic that protests over
the Elephant acts led to their removal
from the show a year ago which, in
turn, contributed to the circus'
decision to make this year its last!
The final visit in Wyoming Valley
comes next month and by year's
end the world's best know circus
will become just a memory. It
will, at least, be a good memory for
     Others circuses will continue to
be on tour so, hopefully, kids of all
ages will enjoy them for years to
      I suppose "Barnum and Bailey
Day" will be just a memory too.
I hope some of you will remember
it and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, March 26, 2017


  MONDAY, MARCH 27TH., 2017
          UPS AND DOWNS!

   How many times have you heard
it said? "There's nothing to do around
here." You can be sure of one thing.
Whoever says that hasn't looked!
    The Steamtown National Park
site and the Electric City Trolley
Museum are close by in Scranton.
Wlkes-Barre has its Ice Skating
center and there are parks and
playgrounds all over the area for
those days when the sun warms
things up.
     On Sunday some of our family
gathered at the area's newest
     Super Bounce is located in
the Mid-Way Shopping Center
in Wyoming Borough. A local
family, the Ginocchietti's, have
invested in our community and kids
in a very big way!
      All sorts of inflatable
attractions have been set up
under roof (weather proof) for
kids from toddlers to pre teen
to bounce their hearts out!
     Their rates are very
reasonable and there's no
charge for the adults who come
to watch them having their fun!
     They've set up special areas
for the very little ones and there's
a great staff on hand to assist the
kids and make sure they're safe
while they're enjoying themselves!
My grand daughter Kara is one of
those staffers. They all take their
responsibilities very seriously 
     It was really great to see kids
having a all and burning off some
energy instead of sitting around
watching TV! The adults watching
had just as much fun too!
     Hope it's a big success and
that all their, and your, NEWS
is good!

Saturday, March 25, 2017


   SUNDAY, MARCH 26TH., 2017

   My wife and I spent Saturday evening
with the Adams Family! You know. Gomez,
Morticia, Wednesday, Fester, and all the
rest of the gang.
    We weren't alone. A couple hundred
other people showed up too! It was in
the auditorium of the Wyoming Area
Secondary Center where a very talented
cast and crew staged the Adams Family
      Unlike many who attended we had
no one in the cast. I was initially attracted
by the fact that my friend Chuck Yarmey
was Technical Director for the production.
Chuck worked behind the scenes on the
movie "All In Time" in which I play a
small part. I met him there and quickly
realized what a talented man he is.
      That talent was well displayed in
the play as was that of the High School
students who were in the cast and on the
stage crew. It's amazing how good these
students are on, and back, stage!
      It may not be Broadway. But it's
close enough to be impressive!
      There's another performance
Sunday afternoon. Hope they get
another standing ovation and that
all their NEWS, and yours, is good!

Friday, March 24, 2017


     SATURDAY, MARCH 25TH., 2017
                HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Look around. It's no wonder I'm
    According to the calendar it's
Spring. According to the thermometer
it's still Winter.
    The Green lines can still be seen on
the streets of Scranton and Pittston.
    So why should I be so surprised to
find out that today, March 25th., is
"Old New Year's Day?"
    Here's the story.
    Although the Gregorian calendar was
created in 1582, many countries chose to
ignore it for several hundred years.
   Instead, they used “Annunciation Style
dating,” which recognized the Feast of the
Annunciation (March 25) as New Year’s
Day! That's today!
    England didn’t adopt our modern-day
Gregorian calendar until 1751. Russia held
out until 1918! In fact, people in Russia,
Switzerland, Macedonia, Georgia, Belarus,
and Serbia still celebrate the Old New Year.
    I wonder if somebody dropped a ball
from the top of the Kremlin last Midnight?
    How come Dick Clark never told us
about this?
   We could have enjoyed one heck of a
party between December 31st and today!
    Anyway, whatever calendar you're
    Hope all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, March 23, 2017


   FRIDAY, MARCH 24TH., 2017
              LIGHTS OUT!

    My wife and I headed to Philadelphia
Thursday for a medical appointment.
The trip became a little easier a couple
years ago when we decided to sign up
for E-ZPass.
     For those who don't already know
an E-ZPass is a small unit you keep in
your car that's electronically scanned
when you enter and leave a toll road
like the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Your
toll is automatically paid out of your
account and you don't have to stop to
get a ticket or to pay a toll, And, it's
less expensive than paying cash!
     When you enter the toll highway
a little "traffic light" goes from red
to green as you're unit is scanned.
That way you know you're good to
go. For the past 16 years the
Turnpike Commission has been
advising motorists to watch for
that green light as they drive
through the toll plazas.
      At least that's the way it was!
      We had just returned from our
trip when we received a letter from
E-ZPass informing us that the little
"traffic light" will soon disappear!
       Why? Well it turns out that
Federal Guidelines prohibit the
use of such devices! Yep. The
"Fed's" have a rule about such
       I've got believe many
people who don't read the small
print will now be stopping, or at
least slowing down, when they
don't see any confirmation that
their EZ-Pass has registered.
       Any such reaction, of course,
will end up slowing down traffic
lanes that are suppose to be used
to speed up traffic,
        Hope the rest of our traffic
signals are safe from     

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


    THURSDAY, MARCH 23RD., 2017
               READING MATTER!

    My Great Uncle Charlie was a gold
miner in Alaska. He spent the last few
years of his life in a small cottage in a
rural area outside of Hazleton.
    I loved to hear him use phrases he
grew up with. To him, for instance, a
bus was still "the Stage." And anything
from a newspaper to a novel was
"Reading matter."
    That last phrase came to my mind
Wednesday when my wife and I were
at the latest of what seems to be our
never ending medical appointments.
     It was my wife's turn for a
consultation so I waited in, of course,
the waiting room.
     After glancing over the posters on
the wall and reading over the Patient's
Bill Of Rights and billing procedures
I turned to that table found in most
all medical offices to look for some
"reading matter."
       After visiting many similar
offices I have come to the conclusion
that most patients are either women
or men who play golf!
       The vast majority of magazines
are of the "Home and Garden variety"
filled with articles on furniture,
recipes, movie star gossip, and dress.
        I have, to be fair. noticed a
copy or two of Golf Digest.
        I wonder what it would cost to
have two copies of a daily newspaper
on hand for those of us who aren't
always looking for new ways to
cook lobster or how to use a 9 iron?
        My wife always brings a book
of her own along. I'm beginning to
understand why!
         Hope the Doc's start providing
some decent "reading matter" and
that all your NEWS is good.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


     WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22N., 2017

     I know I'm repeating myself or, rather, my
blog. But how could I not make sure you were
all aware of this important though unofficial
     Saint Patrick's Day and all of its related
parades and celebrations seem to get all the
attention during March.
      That's too bad because there are a lot of
other things well worth celebrating in this
month which heralds the arrival of Spring.
       Take today, for instance, This is
"National Goof Off Day!" It was created
by Monica Dufour of Davison Mi. and her
grandfather. He had a radio show and was
encouraging people to call in with ideas.
She disguised her voice and called with
a suggestion that there be a "Goof-Off Day."
A newspaper heard the call and printed a
story supporting the idea. So there you
have it!
    I've been rehearsing for this day for
many years! I think I've just about got it
down to a science.
        They did a survey a few years back
and found that most of those who
"celebrated" this unusual holiday did so
by playing video games.
       That seemed a bit strenuous for me.
       I elected to just sit around as much
as possible and do pretty much nothing!
       I would have no objections to
extending this observance to a week or
more. In fact "National Goof Off Month"
seems to offer a lot of potential to my
way of thinking.
      One small bit of advice. If you plan
to celebrate by taking the day off from
work you might be better off suggesting
you're ill rather than citing this holiday
as the reason. Some bosses don't observe
the day.
      Hope you'll mark it on your
calendar and that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, March 20, 2017


   TUESDAY, MARCH 21ST., 2017

   One of the greatest benefits of being
retired, even if it's only "semi retired," is
sleeping in.
    It was thus just a bit disturbing to
have to wake up before the sun on the
first day of spring so I could get to a
local clinic for two medical tests ordered
by my doctor by 7AM.
    I pretty much know the procedure by
now. You check in. Hand the receptionist
the test orders from you physician. Take
a seat in the waiting area. Then go back
to the registration desk where they
verify your identity, check your
insurance, then sign and initial a small
pile of papers that basically tells the
clinic technicians "Go for it!
     You then return to the waiting area
once again until your name is called
for the actual test. At least that's the
way it usually works.
      I however, was called back to the
registration desk unexpectedly so the
registrar and the technician could ask
me exactly what my doctor wanted in
the second test he ordered.
     Now here's the thing. I took all
the basic courses in High School and
even one in Commercial Law. I must
have been out sick when they covered
      I was of the opinion physicians
wrote down what they wanted on their
paperwork for clinical tests and that
the technicians would read and follow
those instructions.
      But even though typed these folks
were clearly perplexed by something
my doctor had written.
      So, we did the first tests then
waited till 8:30 when the clinic could
call the doctor's office. Only one
problem. While the doctor's office
opened at 8:30 the doctor didn't come
in until a little later.
      The physician's staff was unable
to answer the clinic's questions so we
proceeded to wait, again, until the
doctor actually came to work.
      But, by the time he was due, all
available appointment times at the
clinic were filled.
      We were told to check with the
doctor, and get a new appointment
once he straightened out his request
for testing.
       Since both my tests required
fasting I am hopeful I'll be allowed
to eat before all this confusion is
settled. I'd also like to get the next
appointment sometime well after
the sun comes up!
         Hope I pass the tests and that
all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, March 19, 2017


   MONDAY, MARCH 20TH., 2017

    If your colleague isn't answering you
phone call. If your neighbor isn't opening
their door to your knock. Don't assume
they're just ignoring you.
    You see March 20th is  Extraterrestrial
 Abductions Day!
     I haven't the faintest idea why this
particular date was selected. In fact
the folks at holiday have
been unable to locate the creator of this
unusual holiday. But...maybe that's because
he, or she, has know.
     In any case, and just in case,
this would be a good day to keep one eye
on the sky.
     Of course if you're someone looking
to abduct an extraterrestrial it's a
completely different story! If you should
catch an alien make sure it's totally
vetted before you decide to keep it!
     You can celebrate today by reading
and watching science fiction stories about
UFOs and Extraterrestrials. Or you can
simply blog about it as I've chosen to do
on this 1st day of Spring.
      Hope you're still here and that all
your NEWS is good!



     SUNDAY, MARCH 19TH., 2017
               ON SCHEDULE?
   Forget the calendar and the
Groundhog! And please forget
the blizzard! We're all looking
for signs of Spring.
    And, if everything has gone
as expected, one of the surest
signs of Spring takes place in
California early this morning.
March 19th.
     This is the day the Swallows
come back to Capistrano! There's
even a song about it but you've
probably got to be 60 or over to
remember it.
      At dawn on St. Joseph’s Day,
that's March 19th, the little birds
arrive and begin rebuilding their
mud nests, which cling to the ruins
of the Great Stone Church of San
Juan Capistrano.
      I guess the closest thing we've
got around here is the geese flying
North. I heard some the other day
but I never actually saw them.
       Hope the Swallows are back,
the geese are going North, and
that all your NEWS is good!


Friday, March 17, 2017


   SATURDAY, MARCH 18TH., 2017
              GETTING A LIFT!

    My son, now a father himself, reminded
me of the times I used to hoist him onto my
shoulders and carry him on the boardwalk
or at the park.
     On Friday, after three days confined
to bed with an extremely hurting foot, I
finally got an appointment with my Foot
      The only problem was getting out of
the house, into a car, out of the car, into
the doctor's office, out of the doctor's
office, back in and out of a car, and then
back into my house.
       And this time it was the son lifting
the father to get through all those
obstacles! Fortunately with the additional
aid of some crutches he didn't have to
carry me on his shoulders! I believe,
however, he could have had it come to
that. Just getting off the sofa and in
position to hold the crutches became
simple because of his strong hands!
       I don't think I could have handled
the steps, up or down, without his aid.
       I never pictured him lifting me back
in the days I carried him above the crowd.
I don't suppose he ever pictures his little
boy doing the same for him some day.
       But if he turns out anything like
his Dad, he'll be there when and if he's
       Thank you son!
        Hope all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


   FRIDAY, MARCH 17TH., 2017
    Guess you think you know why this is a
day for celebration!
    Well, chances are, you're HALF right!
    Yes, it is Saint Patrick's Day.
    You don't have to look very far to see
Irish flags or green banners hung out to
mark the occasion.
      There are 4 leaf clovers and images
of leprechauns posted on the windows of
houses and stores wherever you go.
       The Big Saint Patrick's Parade in
Scranton has already marched into history.
But the green lines still mark the route
through the city.
        But how many people have noticed
that today is my HALF Birthday!
       See, here's how it works. My actual
birthday is on September 17th.  So, six
months after that is March 17th, which
happens to be Saint Patrick's Day.
       Ask a little kid how old he or she is
and you'll often get an answer like..."I'm
4 and a half."
       So I'm thinking....why should the kids
have all the fun?  And what's a half year
among friends?
       So while a majority of celebrants
will be "wearing the green" today maybe
I'll have a slice of cake. Or, maybe, a half
a slice!
        After all, I'm 74 and a half today!!!!!!
        Hope you're always looking for a
reason to celebrate.....and that all of your
NEWS is good!                         

(Half a Birthday Cake)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017



  OK friends, This one is personal! I
love to recognize unusual "holidays"
whether they're official or not.
  March 16th is one of them! It is
"Absolutely Incredible Kid Day!"
   I have three children, their spouses,
six grandkids, and one Foreign
exchange student that all qualify
under the term Incredible!
   Our kids and their spouses have
always been there for us, We try to
be for them as well. All of them
have contacted us during the
Blizzard to make sure we were OK.
   Two of them even conspired on a
scheme to try to get us to move in
with our one daughter during the
storm. As I've been dealing with
some serious foot pain I was just
as happy to be in my own bed
where I've been camped out since
   I've entertained myself texting
my older grandkids suggesting it
was my decision to close the
schools to give them more morning
sleep time.
   I was on speaker phone with the
two youngest today reciting a
pome that's been in the family as
long as I can remember.
   The oldest grandson is 18. He
never leaves me without a hug!
    The "middle" grandson just
turned 14. He never leaves me
without a hug either. And he'll
do anything for you!
    That's sort of a natural thing
for the girls. And I really
appreciate it. All three are
beautiful young ladies and
each has her own talents.
     The little guy is just 19-
months and the hardest part
of being off my feet in sharing
my Thursdays with him. He's
still in "hug training,"
      Out daughter's exchange
student became one of the
family very quickly. Off to
my right is a colorful envelope
with a dollar he gave to me
for luck on Chinese New Year.
      I hope they all enjoy a
really Incredible Kid Day and
that all their, and your. NEWS
is good!
      Here's my crew from
Wildwood 2016! And then
exchange student Kile!                                             

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


                 THE BLIZZARD!  

    By now those of you who read my daily
post of Facebook know that I have not seen
anything of the Blizzard of 2017 personally.
A foot ailment has prevented me from even
trying to stand and I literally been confined
to bed.
    I have seen TV coverage and photos
posted by Facebook friends. But until I'm
able to look outside I've decided to treat
it as a case of mass hypnosis!
    Before my foot pain kicked in (that's
a pun.) we decided to take all the usual
precautions for the predicted winter
    I stopped at the grocery store and
picked up some fruit and bread. We
had already purchased eggs from a
fellow church member who has
chickens and brings a supply for sale
every week.
    I did not get milk. We already had
a half gallon that is three days past its
"Sell By Date." But it has not been
open. If the blizzard is as bad as some
folks claim I'll put it up for bid to
anyone willing to pick it up.
    Meanwhile we are observing a
storm routine. We are bundled up
with plenty of food and a full supply
of our home heating oil.
    The only other thing we could think
to do is check on the welfare of
our elderly neighbors. We gave that
up quickly because....WE ARE the
elderly neighbors!
    Hope some of the young ones
will offer to shovel this imaginary
snow for us and that all your NEWS
is good!

Monday, March 13, 2017


   TUESDAY, MARCH 14TH., 2017

 The prospect of a blizzard is bringing
back memories for me.
  About a dozen years ago or so I bought
a used Chevy Suburban. It was the vehicle
of my dreams. Seating for 9. Cargo room,
and lots of it, behind the seats. And four
wheel drive when needed.
   My kids, who always heard me say
 "Something neat" in reply to their
questions about what I wanted for
Christmas or my Birthday, got me a
front license plat that read. "Something
   That SUV was a beast!
    During the Valentine's Blizzard a few
years ago we received a report that a
building at the Reserve Center near Nay
Aug Park had collapsed. No one was on
the road. Not even the plows at that time.
    I told my photographer to put his gear
in my Suburban instead of the company
car. I shifted into Four Wheel Low and
drove, without stopping, from downtown
Scranton up the hills to the Center where,
fortunately, we learned it was a supply
structure, rather than the main building,
that had been damaged. No problem
getting there and back while just about
everything else was stuck!
    I used that Chevy to tow a couple
family members out of snow drifts and
over slippery road a number of times
over the years.
    The only real downside was the 42
gallon gas tank at a time when gas was
about $4 a gallon!
     Over the years we loaded people and
beach supplies into the Suburban for our
annual vacation at the shore. I may have
used more gas than most other cars. But
I could take one vehicle instead or two.
      Winters were no match for the Chevy.
Winter snows that is! Unfortunately the
use of that liquid salt on area highways
proved to be its downfall. Rust took out
both the gas and the brake lines and the
frame began to deteriorate as well.
      Some engine problems finally did
me in. I just couldn't afford to cover a
fix knowing the rust would likely nix
the next inspection anyway.
      And so, at 225,000 miles, the "hook"
finally hauled my Suburban away.
      I think about it often. But especially
in bad weather. It's not that I want to
drive through heavy snow. It's knowing
that I could if I had to!
      The Suburban is gone. But I still have
that license plate and I'm keeping my eyes
open....just in case I come across another
used "Beast."
       Hope I find one (that I can afford) and
that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, March 12, 2017


   MONDAY, MARCH 13TH., 2017
                 NAP TIME!

   March 13th., for those of you who
don't keep track of unusual "holidays",
is "National Napping Day."
    It's always observed on the Monday
after Daylight Savings Time goes into
effect. A reason, or excuse, to allow
us to make up for the hour we've just
     Personally, I have been rehearsing
for this day for the past two months.
Research seems to support my
      According to a Gallup Poll two out
of five Americans don't get the recommended
seven or more hours sleep a night.
      A NASA study found higher levels of
alertness in pilots after a 40 minute snooze,
compared to pilots who got no rest. That's
good as long as the snooze didn't take place
while the pilot was at the controls!
      Even just 20 minutes has been shown to
perk up shift workers according to Harvard
Men’s Health Watch.
      One very small study found that even
after just a 10-minute nap, study participants
reported feeling more alert.
      I can't attest to the validity of any of
these surveys since I've never really felt
the urge to do any kind of work after a nap.
      I just nap for the sake of napping.
      Hope I have time to get one in with my
little buddy this week and that all your NEWS
is good!


Saturday, March 11, 2017


   SUNDAY, MARCH 12TH., 2017
             I'M NOT READY!

      Remember when we "fell back"
just a couple months ago and gained
an extra hour of sleep?
       Well now they want it back! And
if you followed the rules you either
got up at what was 2am and re-set your
clocks to 3 or cheated and did all that
re-setting before you went to bed.
      I have truly been enjoying that
extra hour we got in the Fall and have,
on occasion, added an extra hour or two
for myself on days when I knew I had
absolutely nothing I had to do.
      Maybe that's why I'm not ready
for this switch to Eastern Daylight
Savings Time! The last thing I need
with a foot that's still aching and
temperatures below freezing is
an early reveille!
       In fact I'd be in favor of going
back an extra hour...or two!
       I know the sun will be in the sky
later in the day. But from what I've
heard that will just help us see all the
new snow they say is coming into the
evening hours.
        Since I don't want the Clock Police
coming to visit I'll play by the rules and
re-set my clocks. But that doesn't mean
I have to touch the alarm!
        Hope you're right on time and that
all your NEWS is good!

Friday, March 10, 2017


   SATURDAY, MARCH 11TH., 2017

    If you've ever had a yen to look into
your family's origin and history this would
be the perfect day to start. March 11th is
Genealogy Day!
    Climb into your family tree! Jiggle some
branches.  Start piecing together your personal
history via one of the world’s most intriguing
hobbies, genealogy!  Discover the names of
the branches of your family tree.
There are fascinating name puzzles ready to
be put together.
    Thanks to one woman dedicated to this
kind of research I'm able to trace my mother's
family back to the American Revolution. This
woman serves as Secretary of our annual
Singley Family Reunion.
     Another local gal heads the Northeastern
Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. She's
helped me find the names and birth places of
a Grandfather, great grandfather, and great
great grandfather I never even knew!
     Of course I think it's only fair to remind
you. You can pick your friends, your church,
and your hobbies. You can even pick your
nose! But you can't pick your relatives.
      A search by my wife turned up some
connection with an Italian family in New
York that's probably already had extensive
background checks done by the FBI!
      Still it's a lot of fun to look. Hope you
turn up some rich relatives and that all your
NEWS is good!

Thursday, March 9, 2017


   FRIDAY, MARCH 10TH., 2017

   Thursday didn't look especially
promising this week. We usually watch
the 19-month-old grandson Thursday.
But with my foot still aching we had to
face the reality there was no way I
could keep up with him the way I have
to. Still the prospect of an "empty
house" was a bit discouraging.
     Imagine our excitement then when
our oldest grandson showed up and
saved the day!
     He's on Spring break this week and
had a few hours before he had to show
up at the Karate School to do some
teaching. That bit of information is
meant to suggest he's in pretty good
shape. Good enough in fact to help my
wife get the heavy walker she had recovered
for me earlier in the week back into our
crowded shed.
      There was some grocery shopping
waiting to be done as well and, unlike
his little cousin, this fellow is driving
his own car. So, instead of being stuck
inside with me, my wife joined the
grandson and restocked some of our
empty shelves!
        Of course we would have been
thrilled just to have him sit and talk
with us as long as he could. But, in
this case, his visit really rescued us!
        Whatever their age it's great
to have grandkids!
        Hope they all come around
often so that all our NEWS is good!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


    THURSDAY, MARCH 9TH., 2017
         HELLO MY NAME IS......

   I nearly missed out on some important
events this week because of my sore foot.
Since I was keeping you up to date on
my medical problems I neglected to mention
this was "International Celebrate Your Name
   Each day there is a separate "celebration"
tied in with one's name!
   March 5th, for instance, was "Namesake
Day" during which one was encouraged to
ponder the origin of one's name. Maybe
you were named after your father or mother
or a grandparent.
     Me? I think I was named after that kid
who killed the giant with a rock. It's OK.
He became a King. Although in my case I'm
still waiting for my coronation! 
      March 8 was "Discover What Your Name
Means Day." Mine was easy. David means
beloved. De means of. And Cosmo means
the universe. "Beloved of the Universe." Hey!
That's a great name for a King!
      March 9th is "Nametag Day." I pretty
sure, at one time or another, each of us has
been handed one of those white sticky
papers with two blue lines separating an area
where we're suppose to use a Magic Marker to write
our name so old friends and classmates can
identify us without having to ask who the
heck we are!
      My grandson got his first at our Singley
Family Reunion last year. He really needed
one since, at just one year old, no one would
have recognized him from previous gatherings!
      By the way Friday is "Middle Name Day"
and that's where I fit in at the Singley Reunion.
It was my Mom's maiden name!
       Of course I have been called my many
names over the years including a few not
coming from admirers.
       Hope you don't call me "Late for Supper"
and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


     WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH., 2017

   Sleep was virtually impossible Monday
night! Whatever the cause of my foot pain
it was so severe I couldn't keep it in one
position for more that about 20 seconds
nor could I cover it with a blanket for
fear of escalating the pain.
    After hours of moaning my wife dug
out a left over-way out of date mussel
relaxant that put me half way out. But
with the ach ever present.
     I had a 10:50 appointment with our
family doctor who, by then, would have
the results of the X-rays taken Monday
      My first hurdle was to get to the bathroom
before we left. I's only 20 feet from the
bedroom. But there's no way I could put
any weight on the foot. My attempt to use
crutches nearly threw me on the floor. But
I managed to get in and out then limp down
the hall. We've only got three steps to our
front porch, but negotiating them with the
crutches was like taking on Everest for me!
      My wife had to drive. There was no way
I could work the gas and brake with my
right foot.
      We were right on time heading for that
appointment when she hit the pothole! The
tire went flat by the time we turned off the
Expressway and just off the exit ramp. It
was, of course, raining!
      Our first call was to the Doctor's office
to make sure we'd still be welcome when and
if we could get there. Then a call to Forty
Fort Lube where our friends arranged for
a service truck for Ayers Towing to get to
us so the spare "donut tire" could be
        While we waited in the rain a State
Police Trooper pulled up behind us with
his lights flashing so my wife was safe from
passing traffic while she cleared out the
trunk. I, of course, just sat in the front
passenger's seat and moaned as my foot
throbbed! The Trooper then had to leave
but set up flares to assure our safety.
         Minutes later the repairman showed
up and worked to free our spare which was
somehow fastened a bit more securely than
it should have been.
         The rain stopped and the sun came out
just as he finished the task.
          At the doctors minutes later my wife
helped my into a walker on wheels left over
from a foot operation she had several years
ago. Unfortunately we were on a slight incline
and the breaks were not as sensitive as we
thought. I might have rolled into traffic were
it not for Wonder Woman (my wife's) swift
catch! She then wheeled me into the doctor
who reported the X rays were good even though
the foot wasn't. I got some stiff pain medication
and anti-inflammatories which, by the time you
read this, will have eased my pain and, hopefully,
allowed me to sleep.
          I also managed to drop my drawers for my
quarterly allergy shot and get my jeans back on
without falling on the floor!
          All that in one morning! Thanks to my
wife, the folks at Forty Fort Lube, Ayers
Towing, and my doctor for getting me through
"One of those days."
           Hope it's the last like that for awhile and
that all your NEWS is good!
(No photo friends! The last thing any of you
should want to see is my foot!)                 

Monday, March 6, 2017


   TUESDAY, MARCH 7TH., 2017

    I needed an old soft shoe Monday.
Not the tap dance for which the phrase
is associated. I mean a soft shoe
literally. One that wouldn't press on
on very tender foot!
     My problems started Friday when
I began to notice a slightly uncomfortable
feeling in my right foot.
     That feeling turned into pain on
Saturday. First rather mild. But quite
serious by the end of the day.
      The best I could do for myself
Sunday was to stay off my feet and
take some anti inflammatory over
the counter medicine.
       So as the pain continued I
waited for Monday with the
anticipation of getting in to see my
foot doctor for some real care.
       But when we called he learned
he was out of town till Friday. We
telephoned the "On Call Doctor"
covering for my guy....but he wasn't
due in till 1 in the afternoon!
       Luckily our new Family Doctor
agreed to see me even though my
regular appointment wasn't scheduled
till today.
       Having problems walking my
new doctor's first view of me was
entering his office with cane in hand.
I explained I had no straw hat nor
tap shoes.
       He did some checking and ordered
an X ray on my ailing foot. Hopefully
I'll get those results and recommendations
today. Maybe I'll be able to tap dance after
I'm better. Although I never did before!
       Hope I can at least do the Texas
two step soon and that all your NEWS is


Sunday, March 5, 2017


    MONDAY, MARCH 6TH., 2017
    181 years ago today a small
band of men were wiped out trying to
defend an old mission in Texas against
some 5,000 Mexican soldiers. No. I did
not actually cover that story. 
    Saturday people in Lewistown in Central
Pennsylvania gathered around a monument
to pay tribute to three Mifflin County men
who traveled to Texas to join the fight
for Independence and died at the Alamo!
      In fact there were 15 Pennsylvanians
at the Alamo. And one other who was sent out
of the mission before the final battle to search
for supplies.
      Even if you never heard of any of those
brave men you should have seen at least one
of about a dozen movies about the battle
featuring big stars like John Wayne and Billy
Bob Thornton taking turns playing Davy
Crockett who died there along side Col
William Barret Travis and Jim Bowie.
       Recently I mentioned the Alamo to a young
lady at the  Check out counter of a local pharmacy. 
The stunned look on her face reminded me of the
time I gave another clerk a five dollar bill and a
quarter to cover four dollar and twenty five cent
bill. She would have been OK with just the five
because the computer would have told her to
give me seventy five cents in change. I guess
history, like math, isn't what it used to be.
        Good thing I didn't mention anything about
the Agnes Flood or the Knox Mine Disaster. I
suspect, even through they were in this young
lady's back yard, she wouldn't know much about
       That's too bad! They say if we don't learn from
history we're doomed to repeat it! And  I'll bet both
were "good students" too!
        Hope you Remember The Alamo, give the right
change, and that all your NEWS is good!