Thursday, July 19, 2018


  FRIDAY, JULY 20TH., 2018
         THE DINING CAR!

    If you haven't yet taken the Trolley
excursion from the Electric City
Trolley Museum in Scranton do yourself
a favor and get on board!
    The excursion itself is enjoyable. An
hour round trip from downtown Scranton
to the RailRider's Baseball Stadium on
Moosic Mountain.
     You'll pass the entrance to an historic
coal mine, look up Nay Aug Gorge, and
ride through a mile long tunnel, the
longest interurban tunnel in the country!
      There's a stop at the Trolley Barn,
near the stadium, that holds a hidden
       It's a trolley that was, at one time,
turned into a Diner!
       The trolley once rode the rails in the
city of Scranton. After it was taken out
of service it was hauled away and
converted into a Diner. Eventually
the entire street car was surrounded by
walls as the Diner became a much larger
         Thankfully someone remembered
and when the restaurant was abandoned
and the walls were being dismantled the
trolley was rediscovered and saved from
the junk yard.
          It's the only Scranton trolley in the
museum's collection and volunteers have
been working to restore it to its original
condition so, eventually, it will once
again ride the rails in Scranton!
          That could come as soon as next
          I don't know if you'll be able to
buy your lunch on board when it's
running again. But you'll be able to
relive a part of history that lead to
Scranton's designation as "The Electric
         Hope to see you on board soon
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


   THURSDAY, JULY 19TH., 2018

    Everyday I see anniversary photos
on Facebook and I always like to
congratulate the couples involved.
     If they're married less than 50
years, our next milestone come April,
I usually refer to them as "kids."
     But today's message is aimed at
those who are noting their first year
of matrimony.
      You see today, July 19th., is
"National Fitch Day."
        I'm not pretending to be an
expert on this subject (Fitch Day
that is) so I'm going to share this
information from
        National Flitch Day is an informal
holiday dedicated to an ancient English
custom that dates back to at least the 14th 
century. A flitch is a measurement of bacon,
now known as a slab. In England, married
couples were awarded a flitch of bacon if 
they did not repent on their marriage for a 
year and a day.  A couple would come to monks 
and  stand a mock trial to prove they had been 
loving and faithful to one another for one year
         They also had to convince the jury they
wanted to remain married.
          I guess, in a sense, it was a sort of
"Escape Claus" for anybody who felt he or
she had made a mistake.
          But those who remained loyal got
themselves a slab of bacon. That eventually
became a half a pig!
          The custom actually made it here
to America. But it didn't catch on! I wonder
          I kind of like it! My wife and I have been
loyal for nearly 50 years and I always enjoyed
a good pork roast!
           Hope you'd survive the trial too and that
all your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, July 17, 2018


   WEDNESDAY, JULY 18TH., 2018
           HOT DIGGITY DOG!

   Welcome to July 18th everybody. Since
it falls on the third Wednesday of July it is
also National Hot Dog Day!
     The National Hot Dog and Sausage
Council created this day and hold an
annual hot dog lunch in Washington, DC.
      I have always been a big fan of hot
dogs! And nearly every town has at
least one place well know for its
wieners and/or chili sauce!
       People in Wilkes-Barre, for instance,
always talk about Abe's Hot Dogs. That
can get confusing because there are
Abe's Hot Dog Restaurants in Kingston
and Mountaintop as well as Wilkes-
        Sunbury has the "Squeeze In," a
shop that, as its name implies, has
limited room for customers inside but
features a curb side window for walk
up orders.
         If you've ever taken the first
exit in New Jersey after crossing the
Delaware River you may have come
across "Hot Dog Johnnies." That stand
is famous for it's pickle topped hog
dogs and Buttermilk on the side.
         The city of Pittston has the
Majestic Lunch/ Like many of the
other establishments I've mentioned
it's got a window which allows
customers to see the dogs on the
grill as they're frying. Pretty tempting!
We took our 2-year-old grandson in
to get a hot dog one day and he
liked it so much he asked for
         Scranton has not one but two
"Coney Island" hot dog restaurants.
They're only a block apart but are
not at all connected except for their
claim that both offer the original
receipt from the city;s original
Coney Island.
          Here in Plains Township the
foot long hot dogs at Toronys have
been a community favorite for years.
          They began with a road side
stand that was always crowded and
eventually moved to a bigger
facility. Now they've moved again
and, while still in the Township,
most customers will tell you they
miss the original road side stand.
           As a Hazleton native I admit
being partial to "Jimmy's" hot dogs.
Guess it's a "home town taste thing."
           You probably know about
others I haven't mentioned. And
you probably have your own favorite.
            Anyway it's a perfect day to
enjoy a good hot dog at your favorite
stand. If nothing else, grab a stick and
roast your own over an open fire.
              Hope you remember the
mustard and that all your NEWS is

Monday, July 16, 2018


    TUESDAY, JULY 17TH., 2018
              MY DAY OFF!

     It might seem strange reading that
a "retired" guy took a day off. But that's
exactly what I did Monday.
      My weekly program on Electric City
Television was pre-recorded and my wife
and I weren't scheduled to host any trips
for Travelworld this week so the schedule
was free.
       Usually that might have lead to a top
down drive in the Miata but those near
90 temperatures and the extremely high
humidity makes breathing a bit difficult
for me. Since I enjoy breathing quite a lot
I decided to do it inside near the air
         How could I ever expect the
decision would link me up with an old
friend! But there he was! On my television
in old fashion black and white!
         Roy Rogers! King of the Cowboys!
         It's been 20 years since Roy rode off
into the sunset and many more since he
and his wife Dale Evans graced a TV or
movie theater screen. But Roy used to
attract me to my neighborhood theater
every time one of his adventures was
featured on the big screen. I loved
seeing him and his faithful horse
"Trigger." Dale was OK but I didn't
much go for those mushy scenes
between them!
           Looking back most of the plots
were nearly identical. But I never really
noticed back then. Perhaps their simplicity
was part of the charm. It wasn't until I
got older that I started to wonder how
all those cowboys were getting 30 and 40
shots out of their 6 shooters!
            You could always tell the bad guys
from the good guys (usually by the color
of their hats). And, in the end, the good guys
always won the day!
             In his westerns Roy was always the
good guy. It was really great to share some
90 minutes with him on my day off. It
brought back a lot of good memories!
              Hope all your trails are happy and
all your NEWS is good!      

Sunday, July 15, 2018


    MONDAY, JULY 16TH., 2018

   A funny thing happened on the way
to the ice cream stand yesterday.
   My wife spotted a mini golf course
we hadn't visited in quite some time.
She wondered if it was still open and,
if so, if my grandson and one of our
granddaughters would be interested
in playing a round.
     The response was positive so we
pulled in.
     There's a golfing term called
"honors." It usually signifies which
player is going first.
      At this course, however, admission
is done by honors. There's no attendant
so players simply pick from a selection
of putters and different colored golf
balls then place their admission in a
safe box near the equipment.
        Everything started off well and
our group was pretty well matched.
It was hot as we started. Probaby
around 90. But by the 9th hole I
began to realize I was playing with
a handicapp. Not a "shot handicap"
but, rather, an age handicap!
         My stamina is not quite as tough
as the two teens or my wife so I decided
to turn the fore some into a three some
and moved to the air conditioning in
the car.
          Taking the maximum number
of strokes as a penalty on the holes
I skipped may have cost me the round.
But I'll live to play again. And to enjoy
the ice cream!
           Hope you're all up to par in this
heat and humidity and that all your
NEWS is good!


Saturday, July 14, 2018


   SUNDAY, JULY 15TH., 2018
        DON'T GUM IT UP!

   There's an old children's song (the
song is old, not the children) that
goes something like this......."Nobody
likes me, Everybody hates me, Guess
I'll go out an eat worms!"
    Well whether you're loved or
hated this is the day to live the song!
     It's July 15th! This is "Gummi
Worm Day!"
     Now so that we're completely
accurate here, Gummi Worms
were actually preceded by the
original Gummi Bears!
     This must have been a part of
childhood I missed. I do remember
all kinds of licorice, red, brown, and
black, and candy  like Dots and
Good & Plenty with a licorice type
substance inside.
     My two youngest grandkids are
always on the look out for Gummies
so we now keep, or try to keep, a 
supply on hand. I admit to sampling
it from time to time.
      Speaking of time, here is the
Gummi timeline!
      They first showed up in Germany
in 1922. It wasn't until 1981 that
the first Gummi Bears were
manufactured here in the United States!
That would explain the fact I never had
them. I was 39 when they finally
showed up here!
       The Gummi Worm was introduced that
same year. And the rest, as they say,
is history!
       These days manufactures have, in some
cases, added Vitamin C, to the worms, or
bears, or other creatures now offered to
hungry kid consumers.
       Of course these treats tend to stick to
the teeth and can lead to tooth decay!
Dentists love them!
        But wait! Gummi Bears and Worms
containing the cavity-fighting additive
xylitol, a type of wood sugar, are now
being tested. And one company has
developed a line of gummi candy which
is proved to help the immune system !
         Wow! These Worms are sounding
better and better all the time!
         So take some time to celebrate
today! Have a pack of Gummi Worms!
And if worms aren't your thing remember
that thanks to good old American
ingenuity we now have Gummi
rings, frogs, snakes, hamburgers, cherries,
sharks, penguins, hippos, lobsters,
octopuses, apples, peaches, oranges, and,
of course, the old standby Gummi Bear!
           Hope you can get the little pieces out
of your teeth and that all your NEWS
is good!

Friday, July 13, 2018


       SATURDAY, JULY 14TH., 2018

      A lot of people around these parts have fond
memories of Mr. Peanut, proudly representing
the Planter's Peanut Company, walking around
Public Square and South Main Street in downtown
    But today is a day set aside to honor the real
"Mr. Peanut." George Washington Carver!
   Born into slavery, Carver became a scientist,
botanist, educator, and inventor. And his
specialty was peanuts!
   Carver came up with 105 food recipes using
    I'll wager he was the guy who came up with
my favorite. The peanut butter and jelly
sandwich! I have them that I've
learned it's better to spread the peanut butter
first! I used to have trouble getting it on top of
the jelly!
    Anyway, Carver didn't stop with using peanuts
for food. This guy developed and promoted about
100 products made from peanuts!
    They included cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics
and even gasoline! Why aren't we still using that
today! We could fill up for, literally, peanuts!!!!
     Peanuts are powerful! If you doubt it consider
the fact that another of Carver's "Peanut based
inventions" was nitroglycerin!!!!!
     You can't buy that in a bag at the Old Ball
      A crowd of about a thousand people will
descend on the George Washington Carver
National Monument in Diamond, Mo. today
for the annual Carver Day ceremonies.
     Since it's a little late for you to get there
you might want to break out a jar of Skippy
and have your own celebration!
     I'd stay clear of the Nitro though!
     Hope you've got some "Chunky" on hand
and that your sandwich....and all your NEWS
is good!


Thursday, July 12, 2018


   FRIDAY, JULY 13TH., 2018

  Whatever's on your menu today you'll
probably want to include an order of
French Fries!
   You see July 13th is "National French
Fries Day!"
    Seems no matter what folks order,
hot dogs, burgers, even chicken, the
most popular side dish is French Fries.
     As I explained in an earlier blog
the potato treat we call "French Fries"
likely hailed from Belgium originally.
As a natter of fact if your ordered in
Belgium you'd ask for "Belgium Fries!"
     In England they're called "Chips."
     Thomas Jefferson is credited with
introducing them in America! Most
people probably think it was Ronald
       In any case they became very
popular very quickly!
       Americans consume 30 pounds
of potatoes per person per year. 25% 
of those potatoes are made into french 
       Of course there's only one
acceptable way to observe this
holiday and that's by getting an order
of French fries, or whatever you call
them where you are!
         Hope you don't overdo the salt
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


  THURSDAY, JULY 12TH., 2018

    On Wednesday my wife and I
headed out to the Hometown Market.
    Technically, I suppose, it is a
"Farmer's Market" although you can
buy just about anything there any
Wednesday of the week, year round!
     I had my mind set of some extra
sharp Cheddar cheese but we looked
around a bit first surveying all the
goods and wears in sight.
      I have a terrible time passing
the French  Fry Stand there! They're
especially tasty and remind me of
the fries you get at the County Fairs.
       It was extra hard to pass this
time since I've been trying to get my
weight down a bit. But, rationalizing
I'd limit myself to a small dinner, I
broke down and got an order for my
wife and I to split.
       I found a market booth selling
meat and cheese and was able to
get a couple pounds of the sharp
cheese I set out for.
        Then, 50 yards further on, I
spotted a similar booth with a stack
of wrapped cheese labeled "Reserve
Cheese." Not sure if that meant it
had been set aside for someone I
asked what "Reserve Cheese" might
         Turns out, in this case, it is a
sharp cheddar that's been aged for
7 years! I had to have some!
           But wait! There's more!
In the same case, just a short
display away, my wife spotted
something that took her back to
her youth.
            She vividly recalls sitting
on the back porch of her house with
her Dad as they shared Limburger
Cheese and onion sandwiches and
he let her have a sip of his beer.
            There, before our eyes,
was Limburger cheese!
              When I saw her expression
there was no doubt we would be
taking some home! For her!
                And so, as we settled in
back at the house, I followed by
luncheon fries with a piece of
"Reserved cheese" while my wife
prepared a memory dish featuring
a Limburger cheese sandwich
topped with a big slice of onion!
                Oh, by the way, we decided
to go all out so I stopped at a beer
store on the way home and got the
Blue Moon she enjoys while I went
for some low carb Ultra.
                 A fine day and "dinner."
Hope she brushes her teeth well and
that all your NEWS is good!