Wednesday, February 28, 2018



     Today is truly a day to celebrate!
     I'm not sure if Congress ever officially
acknowledged this holiday by resolution or
not. But if it hasn' should!
     March 1st. is "National Peanut Butter
Lovers Day! And when you stop to think
about it this should be an especially big
day here in northeastern Pennsylvania!
      I mean when one thinks about
peanuts a lot of us from around here
automatically think of Planters and Mr.
Peanut who use to march around the
Public Square area in Wilkes-Barre
when the company had its big shop
        Planters was founded by Italian
immigrant Amedeo  Obici in Wilkes-
Barre. He started his career as a bellhop
and fruit stand vendor in Scranton.
         Several of the family's homes can
still be seen as you drive through
        . Obici turned peddler within a few
years, using a horse and wagon, and calling
himself "The Peanut Specialist".
          Now to be totally honest Obici
moved to Virginia a few years after the
Planter's Company was founded and built
a major production factory there. That, of
course, is where the peanuts were.
          Mr, Peanut came along after the
move to Virginia. The character was
created by a young schoolboy, Antonio Gentile.
He won five dollars in a contest for his
drawing but Obici decided he deserved more
and paid for his, and his 4 siblings, college
           There is a disputed claim that Frank P.
 Krize, Sr., a Wilkes-Barre artist and head of the
Virginia plant, made the additions of the
monocle, top hat and cane on Mr. Peanut.
            Of course there's much more to
peanuts than Planters and Mr. Peanut!
             Here in America the average person
eats 1500  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
before graduating high school. In fact there's
a lot of folks who survive on the combination!
            Peanuts are a pretty efficient food too. It takes
about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut
butter and there are enough peanuts in one acre to
make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
       I can't seem to find any history on just when
Peanut Butter first met Jelly.....but they've been
stuck together ever since! (Get it? Peanut butter,
jelly, stuck together, you know.)
       So celebrate my friends. Husbands take your
wife out for a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich
this evening. That's bound to impress her.....Isn't
        Hope you're not "spread too thin" and that
all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


                CATCH A FEW Z'S!

     Well today we bid good bye to February
which got short changed somewhere along
the way with just 28 days.
       But don't despair! February 28th happens
to be Public Sleeping Day/ No. I didn't say
Public Speaking. Quite the contrary.
       You're not expected to say anything
today. Instead you're encouraged to sleep
in public!
         I had never heard of this day before
but it sound pretty relaxing.
         You can sleep on a park bench or
on the bus. Some may even choose to
sleep at work. That you do at your own
           We once had a female reporter who
choose to spend part of her night shift
sleeping at her desk. She's now working
for a government agency where, I'm told,
that's a little more common.
            You might also think twice about
catching that nap at work if you're a truck
driver or a pilot.
             I intend to celebrate but I'll be
doing it at home and for as much of the
day as I can get away with!
             Hope you'll find a spot to catch
a few Z's and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, February 26, 2018


                THE OLD WHEELS!

       Every Saturday morning I participate
in a radio talk program broadcast from WLSH
in Lansford.
       It's called "Coal Region Connections" and
most of the conversation deals with the good
old days here in our area.
       This past Saturday a lot of the talk was
about cars. Especially about cars that aren't
manufactured anymore. Many of the brands
had dealers throughout northeastern
       Anybody remember the Keiser? How
about the Frazer? Or the Henry J.?
        I remember one company that was
mentioned very well. American Motors.
I owned a couple of their products including
a Hornet and a Matador.
        A lot was said about the prices of
those vehicles back in the day! The Henry
J., for instance, sold for $1,286 in 1954.
        I bought an Austin Healey Sprite for
$2,000 in 1963.
        I couldn't believe I paid about $4,000
for that Matador! That was 1976!
        Those cars were cool and the prices,
even at 4 grand, were pretty low!
        But here's the thing. The average
worker buying that Henry J? for twelve
hundred was only making $4,700 a year!
         I made $75 a week when I bought
that Austin Healey Sprite and less that
$150 a week when I sprung for that
AMC Matador!
         Of course these aren't the good old
days, although they will be some day for
younger readers/
         If you're like most of us who have
been around the block a time or two in one
car or another you're likely to see wages
go up over time. Unfortunately car prices
seem to go up faster!
          We now buy used and run them till
near death (theirs that is) then look for
another pre-owned.
          Of course they can't be too old!
Those 76 Matadors are selling at auction
for between 10 and $16,000! Wish we had
kept ours!
           Hope you car is paid off and that
all your NEWS is good!


     MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH., 2018
                   STILL THERE!

          With Saint Patrick's Parades
scheduled throughout our area over
the next couple of weeks I thought
you'd enjoy this Irish based story!  
          There are few things we can really
depend on these days. But one on which
you can depend is the subject of a sort of
ghost story.
          In 1877 several men were hanged
at the Carbon County Jail in Jim Thorpe.
They had been convicted of crimes
including murder for their part on the
so called "Molly Maguires" a secretive
Irish group angered with the working
conditions for Coal miners in our hard
coal fields.
       One of those men, Alexander
Campbell was said to have rubbed
his hand in the dirt on the jailhouse
floor than slammed it on his cell wall
profession that the mark he left would
remain as proof of his innocence!
        We're told his handprint remains!
        Many years back my WYOU
photographer and I decided to include
the story in a special we were doing.
         When we got to the jail, which
was still the County prison back then,
we learned it was visiting day and the
lockup was jammed with families of
          The Deputy Warden told us
he'd be glad to take a Polaroid photo
for us and within 20 minutes he
returned with the instant picture in
           I came across it while searching
through some family photos last night.
Somebody must have thought it was a
photo from my time in jail! Nope! It
never happened.
           Years later the jail was sold to
private individuals who have turned it
into a tourist attraction.
            I'm told they won't allow photos
of the print. Maybe they're afraid the
flash will do what plaster and paint
haven't been able to accomplish over
all those years. Namely, remove the
             Well since I found my copy
I'd thought I'd share it with you!
Hope Alex is smiling and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 24, 2018


                        UPS TV!

        I remember when we switched from
Direct TV to cable about 3 years ago. It
was, actually, a switch back to cable.
        We had cable from the day we
moved into our home nearly 49 years
ago till we took advantage of a special
offer and tried Direct for a few years.
         Direct was OK except for some
occasional loss of signal during heavy
storms and the fact I couldn't get
Electric City Television on which I do
a weekly program and several feature
          When cable came up with its
own special package with TV, wyfi,
and phone it drew us back. We got
high speed internet, caller ID on our
TV screen, and premium channels
like HBO.
           Eventually though the bargain
rates disappeared and the bill got
higher and higher.
           This past week we decided I
use the laptop a lot more than the
television so we decided to switch to
cable's basic package.
            I expected we'd have a cable
rep show up to take our fancy digital
recorder box out and hook up the
basic equipment I needed, Nope!
            The company sent us a large
package, via UPS, containing my
new equipment and  set up instructions
to disconnect my old equipment and
install the new electronics,
            I was then up pack up the old
equipment in the same box and take
it to an UPS store for return to the
cable company.
           The process wasn't exceptionally
hard (except perhaps for programming
the new remote control) but I wondered
where the nice guy was to brought all
that equipment to the house in the first
place and only left when we was sure
everything was working properly.
           I'm toying with the idea of
sending them a bill for a service call
plus mileage for delivering the
equipment to UPS.
            It's all good. I still get my
ECTV channel , the local stations,
and wyfi to pull in some other
features on our smart TV.
            Hope they don't call me out
to hook up other people's sets......and
that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, February 23, 2018



   I've introduced you to a lot of unusual
"holidays" over the years I've been writing
this blog but there's no question in my mind
this one may be hard to swallow!
    February 24th is "International Sword
Swallowers Day!"
    Sword Swallowers Association International
president Dan Meyer first announced the
creation of this special day in 2007. I have to
admit I never knew about the existence of
this Association.
     Nor did I realize February is also
 National Swallowing Disorders Month.
 I am not surprised that people who swallow
 swords could develop a swallowing
      My only suggestion for celebrating the
 day would be to catch a professional sword
 swallowing act. That could be a challenge.
 According to the Association there are less
than a few dozen full-time professional sword
swallowers actively performing around the world
today. Talk about an industry with a lot of
        I've always used a pen which, as you know,
is mightier than the sword. On the other hand
I've never swallowed one. A pen that is. Or
       I don't suggest you try either. Just have a
donut and we'll call it even! Hope you enjoy
the day and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD., 2018

     Most of us know somebody who spent
the majority or his or her life working at
the same company. That's the way it used
to be!
      I spent 29 years full time at WYOU TV,
and several years working part time there
before that.
      These days the media and apparently
a lot of other businesses have become
revolving doors for workers who either
leave on their own or get tossed out the
door. What's especially amazing is how
fast those doors seem to be spinning!
       In my roll as Producer for the Electric
City Television show I do involves, among
other things, scheduling guests for my weekly
       Earlier this week I tried to reach a
spokesperson for one an area agency I'd
like to have on the program. I began with
an email to the agency's Public Information
Office whom I dealt with last year.
       The following day I received an email
generated automatically which informed me
the individual I was trying to contact had
left the agency. Fortunately her replacement's
name and email were included.
       I rewrote my request and sent it off to
the replacement.
       Today I received an email from another
individual at the agency who told me that
the replacement was no longer there and
that she, the writer, had replaced the replacement!
        All of these changes in about 9 months!
        I am now dealing with the replacement's
replacement in an attempt to reach the person
I want to be on the show. If she hasn't been
         Hope the replacement's replacement
doesn't get replaced before I  can get this
guest scheduled........and that all your NEWS
is good!


Wednesday, February 21, 2018



   My wife and I took advantage of Wednesday's
spring like weather to do some non window
shopping. And we found the perfect place!
The Hometown Farmer's Market.
    Most so-called Farmer's Markets feature,
well, farmers and produce. You'll find some
of them and that at Hometown  but there's a
lot more!
     Vendors of all sorts set up stands at this
place. You can buy meats and cheeses, candy,
T Shirts, dresses, toys, baked goods, antiques,
old record albums and a hundred other things.
      Then there's the "unusual."
      We were intrigued by a chemical
packed within flexible plastic that heats in
just an instant to relieve back or leg aches.
How could anyone over 60 say no to a
product like that!?
        In my mind this is the perfect place
to come to find things you never ever
thought about but suddenly realize you
can't live without!
         You only get one shot at these
bargains. At least one shot a week! The
market is open every Wednesday all year
          We'll probably head back again
soon to find something else we didn't
know we needed.
           Hope this heat helps my back
and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018



      My wife and I try to get to the movies as
often as we can and we're quite use to sitting
through the coming attractions. There are so
many these days that our popcorn has usually
been consumed by the time the feature starts!
       There's always a lot of posters for
upcoming movies on display as well but it
was another poster that drew our attention when
we stopped in on Tuesday.
        This one announced Cinemark's new
policy, effective February 22nd, banning bags or
packages (that could be read "purses" in many
cases)  larger than 12" x 12" x 6".
           I can see this being a big concern for
many women customers who carry everything
but a kitchen sink in their hand bags. (Of course
I'm just assuming there's no sink!)
          According to Cinemark the prohibition
is being put in place "to enhance safety and
security for guest and employees."
          I suppose that's an admirable stance
but I must confess to wondering if there
isn't more of a concern about smuggled bags
of potato chips or candy purchased by movie
goers for about a third of theater prices
outside the cinema!
           The theaters also reserve the right to
inspect all bags and packages as customers
enter. Medical and Diaper bags are
excluded. I wonder if they'd question a
Diaper bag if I didn't bring a baby with it?
          Well I guess you could still sneak
a lot of M&M's in. After all they melt in
your mouth, not in your pocket!
          Hope you enjoy the show and that
all your NEWS is good!

Monday, February 19, 2018


                CHERRY PIE DAY!

        February 20th is listed as Cherry Pie
Day on the web site
        I'm not sure why this particular date
was selected for the honor. Perhaps there's
a connection with Washington's Birthday.
        I'm thinking somebody figured the
cherries from the tree he allegedly
chopped down ended up in a pie perhaps
baked by him mother.
        I've always enjoyed a good cherry
pie and it is, statistically, the second most
popular pie in the country. Apple pie tops
the list but that's probably because most
people in the country have never tried
"Dad's (or My) Pie generally prepared
by my daughter or grand daughter for
most every family get together throughout
the year.
       It's about a billion calorie confection
based on a graham cracker crust filled with
Eagle Brand condensed milk and a touch
of lemon then chilled to near freezing.
       Years back my Mom would make
one and I remember my brother and I
fighting over who got the last piece.
        Others have come to love it since
then so rather than take any chances I
do my best to get the first, and biggest
         Since there's no family gathering
scheduled for today perhaps I'll settle
for Cherry pie just to join in the national
         Hope you'll have a slice yourself
and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, February 18, 2018


             TO TELL THE TRUTH!

        Chances are a lot of you're off today.
   You probably figured you get to sleep
late because it's  "President's Day." But you'd
be wrong!
    There is no national holiday called "President's
Day."  It’s a myth, like the story about George
Washington chopping down a cherry tree.
    The holiday we celebrated  today is,
officially, "Washington's Birthday."
    Of course it isn't Washington's actual
Birthday. That's February 22nd.
    Back in 1968 Congress adopted the "Uniform
Monday Holiday Act." The law moved four
holidays, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day,
Columbus Day, and Washington's Birthday
from fixed dates to designated Mondays to
increase the number of three day weekends
for Federal workers.
  Eventually Veteran's Day was moved back
to its traditional date of November 11th.
  This whole "President's Day" thing is the
work of  Madison Avenue. The people there
figured you can promote a lot more sales
if you can tie merchandise to all the dates
between Washington and Lincoln's
   I think the "Father of our Country" deserves
his own day! I always liked Washington best!
   I had a cherry tree in my backyard when I
grew up. I didn't chop mine down either.
Although I'm not sure I would have admitted
it had I done so.
   I had started a collection of dollar bills
because they bear George's portrait. Unfortunately
I never been able to keep any more than about
ten of them at any one time.
    Don't get me wrong. Lincoln is OK too.
    When I was in school, or at work, I would have
been very happy to take Lincoln and Washington's
Birthday off!
    In fact I'd gladly celebrate every President's
Birthday with a day off! Including Jefferson Davis!
    But let's give old George the special
attention he deserves. Lets take the 22nd off too!
    Hope we get more holidays and that all
your NEWS is good!


Saturday, February 17, 2018


    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH., 2018

        Today's blog is based on actual
        We hold these truths to be self
evident. That, from time to time, we
all deal with wonderful well meaning
people who seem lost in a fog.
         My daughter dealt with one of
them this past week while trying to
arrange a medical appointment. She
had already had the first in a series of
two examinations and called to arrange
for the second.
          The receptionist pointed out
that the tests had to be done within 30
days of the first series. Since the first
were done of January 31st she explained
that my daughter had until February 31st
to schedule the next series.
          Anybody else see a problem here?
          My daughter explained the
obvious and the receptionist agreed to
schedule an appointment for March 2nd.
          My wife spoke with a representative
of a large insurance company to have some
changes made to the policy for our cars.
           The spokesperson took down some
basic information but suggested we'd be
better off speaking directly to our local
agent on Monday.
            Wanting to make sure we were
covered in the meantime my wife wondered
if a call Tuesday would be all right since
Monday was a holiday.
             Seems that information came as a
complete surprise to the company representative.
"What holiday" she asked. "President's Day" my
wife responded. Since it wasn't Christmas or
Thanksgiving the representative said she didn't
recognize that one!
              Admittedly it's only been around for
47 years so it's a relatively "new holiday" which
could explain her ignorance.
               I'm just happy Congress didn't schedule
it for February 31st!
               Hope you have a great day, whatever
date it this is, and that all your NEWS is good!    

Friday, February 16, 2018


              FALLING FOR STYLE!

      I've found myself watching a lot of the
Winter Olympic games.
      The athletes have been very impressive
in each and every competition I've seen. I
could never even imagine challenging them.
      I don't skate. I don't ski, although there
was a time when I did a bit of cross country
skiing. My sledding experience was pretty
much limited to taking my Flexible Flyer
down Third Street in Hazleton after a good
snow storm about 63 years ago.
       But while Olympic Gold, Silver, or
Bronze would be out of the question I'm
wondering if there shouldn't be another
category. It would be one in which I might
       If you've watched at all you know that
even Olympic athletes sometimes take a
spill. Now I've had a lot of experience at
falling and I think I could do it with the
best of them!
       I remember playing Softball at the
original Lackawanna County Stadium
when the surface was made up of some
form of AstroTurf. Hitting the ground
there was pretty much like falling on
concrete! I did it twice in one game!
       Rather than feeling sorry for those
who go down while trying their best
we could have a separate team of judges
awarding points for form and landing.
      There could be a separate medal,
maybe Copper or Tin, and the winners
would be allowed to sit as their award
was presented.
      Maybe I've been too careful with
all that ice we had last week. I could
have been practicing for the 2020
games! I'd probably even be healed
by then!
      Hope you like my idea and that
all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, February 15, 2018



    I just don't get it! I watched
carefully Thursday night.
    I checked the live web camera at
Times Square in New York. Sure,
there were plenty of people walking
around. But no where near the huge
crowd I saw on December 31st!
     What's going on?
    Didn't anybody know it was New
Year's Eve?
    And today is New Year's Day!
    Check your calendar to make
sure you're up to date! This is Chinese
New Year 4716! It's also known as
Lunar New Year!
    Chinese New years or Spring Festival,
is the biggest holiday in Chinese culture. It
is celebrated with festivities, fireworks,
brightly colored lights, special meals with
family and gift giving! Hope you didn't
spend too much on me!
    By the way the Chinese New years
celebration extends for 15 days so let's
get this party started!
    Hope there's a good fortune in your
cookie..and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


   Today's blog is primarily dedicated to
those of you who still have any sort of
Christmas decoration still adorning your
home. It's OK to take them down now!
    On the Julian calendar February 15th
is Candlemas Day, the last holiday of the
Christmas season!
     Candlemas is the festival, of the Feast
of Purification of the Virgin Mary. It also
celebrates the annual blessing of candles
used by the church.
      I'm always encouraging people to
celebrate Christmas as long as they
possibly can. I never knew there was an
"official reason" to do it.
      So break out the eggnog and the
Fruit cake for one last toast to Christmas!
The Fruit cake should still be as good as
the day you got it. You might want to
check the eggnog though!
       And don't pack everything too deep
in the attic or basement. After all there are
only 313 days left till Christmas!
       Hope I can get all my shopping done
this time and that all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018



    Every now and then a number of
"Special days" share the same date!
    My birthday, for instance, is also
"Constitution Day." Although,
admittedly, few people celebrate
either. Other than me of course.
    I tend to favor my birthday!
    Among other things today is
Library Lovers Day, Race Relations
Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day, and
League of Women Voters Day.
     But there are three observances
that make February 14th.very special and,
you could say, related!
   Most everyone knows it's
Valentine's Day
   In a sense the other two "celebrations"
fit right in!
   One is "Organ Donor Day/" And what
romantic hasn't "donated" his heart to
his Valentine?
   Fact is thanks to organ donors some
folks have been given a new lease on
life and have been able to go on sharing
their love.
   Then there are those who seem to go
from one Valentine to another. Over and
over again. Round and round as it were.
    That gang may well be noting "Ferris
Wheel Day" which also falls on February
    The day is, of course, a tribute to
George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.,
the creator of the Ferris Wheel! A lot
of people love those!  George did.
    The huge wheel he built for the
Chicago World's Fair of 1893 was a
big success.
    But after investing all of his money
trying unsuccessfully to sell his
invention to cities around the world
his Valentine....his wife....left him.
    He died later that year, of a kidney
    Too bad he couldn't have gotten
an organ donation!
    But that was then and this is now.
    So enjoy the day!
    Give your Valentine your heart
and take them out for a spin!
     Hope you have a great day and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, February 12, 2018


            WHAT'S IN A NAME?

    February 13th is listed by the website as "Get a Different
Name Day."
     It's a day to think about, or perhaps
actually take, a name you'd like to have
as opposed to the one your parents
picked for you.
     In broadcasting I found it pretty
common for people to use something
other than their given name.
     Folks around here probably remember
broadcasters like George Gilbert, Guy
Randal, Bobby Day, and my ECTV Co-
host Rusty Fender.
     Their actual names, in the order I
listed, were George Schumacher, Guy
DiFrancesco, Geoege Miscavage, and
Dale Mikolaczyk.
       Sometimes the personalities
made the decision to alter their name
to one more easily remembered by the
audience. Sometimes station management
mandated the change.
       There was already a newsman named
Craig on the air when Craig Davis joined
WNEP TV so he was asked to choose
another first name. He choose that of
his brother Mark and it stuck. I'm not
sure if anyone every approached his
brother about switching his name to
       I've been using my given name
since I entered broadcasting in 1959
although I did call myself Double Dee
as well.
       And, as they always say, call me
anything you want except late for
        So, if you're unhappy with your
name pick another at least for the day.
After all, as our old buddy Billy
Shakespeare wrote "That which we
call a rose by any other name would
still smell as sweet."
         Hope, by whatever name you
go, all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, February 11, 2018



      Abe Lincoln is one of the most
recognized U.S. Presidents in history
and for many years we celebrated his
birthday. That happens to be today,
February 12th.
      We used to celebrate George
Washington's birthday too. That
falls on February 22nd.
       Thanks to the Uniform Monday
Holiday Act of 1968 we will, instead,
celebrate President's Day next Monday,
February 19th.
        Technically speaking President's
Day officially celebrates Washington's
birthday. We throw Lincoln and, actually,
ever other President in the mix but the
original legislation only mentions
George Washington.
       Lincoln's birthday was never a
Federal holiday although it was
recognized in some states.
        Back in my schools days I would
have been happy to recognize every
President's birthday if it meant a day
off! I've always liked days off!
        Let's give "Honest Abe" his
due and raise a glass to him today!
        Hope you can take the day off
and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 10, 2018


           HAVE YOU GOT ONE?

      February 11th is National Inventors
      Unlike some of the wacky "holidays"
of which I've tried to keep you up to date
this one is official! On February 11, 1983,
U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared this
date to be National Inventors Day
       It also happens to be the birthday of
Thomas Alva Edison who came up with
a couple inventions of his own in his day
       I have invented many things. Unfortunately
I never wrote any of them down so a patent
is probably unlikely.
       I do remember inventing the game
Battleship before I ever saw the board
game of that name. Mine was simply a
series of squares drawn on two pieces of
paper on which each contestant would
draw three ships The opponent would
call out a letter, representing a column,
and a number representing another
column. If your ship was in that lettered
and numbered block you were hit!
       I have heard rumors that other kids
claimed to have some up with the same
idea but none of us got the credit!
       My son and my wife have both
come up with inventions of their own.
My son's is a work in progress My
wife's is safety tucked away in her
mind and only emerges when the
conversation happens to center
around inventions
        So if you've got a brilliant idea
now is the time to write it down and
mail it to yourself Then when some
big company markets your invention
you show up with the unopened
envelope to prove you came up with
the idea first!
         I'm still trying to remember
what my brilliant ideas were. I know
I had a couple.
        Anyway you should celebrate
the day by either inventing something
or turning on an electric light in honor
of Edison.
        Hope your invention is a big
success and that all your NEWS is

Friday, February 9, 2018


               I LOVE A PARADE!

       I've heard a lot of comments over the
past week or so about the idea of having a
big military parade.
       I was very hesitant to blog on the
subject for fear readers would take my
thoughts as a position for or against the
President who, I'm told, came up with
the suggestion
       My policy both when on and since
retiring from the daily news beat is to
maintain a neutral position with regard
to politics. So I'll just stick with the
subject of parades.
        I love parades! When I was a kid
in Hazleton my hometown used to host
the second largest Mummer's Parade in
the state! Second only to Philadelphia!
 A couple straight years of bad weather
brought that tradition to an end and I
always felt bad about that
        When I was the Program Director
of WBAX in Berwick I was working
on one particular parade day (I can't
even recall which holiday was being
celebrated) so I grabbed an extra long
microphone cord, walked to a window
in the hallway and literally covered the
parade without having it sold as a
sponsored program. I'll bet the sales
staff thought about it afterwards!
         I've ridden in and helped cover
the Scranton Saint Patrick's Parade
many times and, on one occasion,
Judge Tom Munley and I did recorded
coverage of the Veteran's Parade for
Electric City Television.
          Bands floats, and impressive
marching units make for a great
parade. That said, when I picture a
"Military Parade" my memory is
drawn to news footage of China,
Russia and, before them, Germany,
marching along with tanks and huge
rockets. And we thought of them
as "Military States"
         I would also note  the
Mummers and Saint Patrick's marches
always drew a lot more spectators than
the Veteran's parade. That's sad but true.
        I would hope if a National Military
Parade comes to be, it would feature our
Service Bands marching to their traditional
Service anthems. And lots of uniformed
service men and women rather than a
preponderance of rockets and tanks and
such. They're the heart of the military
whatever tools are at their disposal
         I don't need a march to believe
in the men and women who defend our
country but if there's to be one it's OK
by me because I love a parade.
          Hope you do to and that all
your NEWS is good.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


                PIZZA TIME!  

         Welcome to February 9th. "National
Pizza Day!" And this year it falls on a
Friday which is just perfect!
       Pizza is actually a favorite dish of people
around the world. Although it could be
argued that it's consumed most by people
here in the United States. The average
 American consumes over 23 pounds
of pizza each year! I'm probably half way
there in 2018 already!
       If you live in Northeastern Pennsylvania
you'll likely find a pizza place every couple
blocks in most every main street shopping
area. Indeed the community of Old Forge
lays claim to being the Pizza Capitol of the
world! Several establishments there even
send their "half baked" pizzas around the
country where customers finish the
baking process and enjoy their meal.
       My brother-in-law recently packed one
in a suitcase he bought at Goodwill and
checked it in his baggage for his flight
back to California. He ate it that same
        While most everyone likes pizza the
debate that frequently develops when it's
ordered involves the toppings that are to
be added.  
          I'm a pepperoni guy which puts me
in the most popular group. 36% of people
favor pepperoni. My wife is in the
"mushroom group."   
          In a sense the Pizza season, just
peaked. More pizzas are sold on Super
Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the
         It's pretty clear how to celebrate this
unofficial holiday. Have a pizza...with or
without pepperoni. Hope you enjoy the
day and your pizza and that all your NEWS
is good!  PIZZA TIME! 


Wednesday, February 7, 2018



    Welcome to February 8th. Also known
as "Opera Day!"
     Let me begin by saying in the years I
spent as a DJ before switching to news I
never played any operas on the air. The
closest thing would have been the somber
"chamber music" I played the day President
Kennedy was shot.
     It was with great trepidation, therefore,
that I accepted an unusual assignment from
my boss.
      Roy E. Morgan, who owned WILK
Radio at the time, went on the air himself
from time to time to review local stage
plays and musical performances.  His
reviews were carried in the local paper
as well.
       He had already committed to review
at opera at the Item Temple when he
learned he had to be out of town that
evening. Hence my assignment.
       The only thing I knew about opera
was that my brother could sing most
anything from most any opera. Quite
well by the way!
        So I took him along and asked
for his thoughts to help with my own
observations. He was my phantom!
        I learned a lot that evening. I
learned about the amazing ability of
some of the performers to hit notes
many of the rock stars I liked could never
get near!
       I learned there was actually a pretty
darn good story behind the opera we
      And I learned how to write a review
opera lovers would understand and non
opera lovers could accept.
       I also learned that it was some
executive at the newspaper who wrote
the headline to my review. It read
"The Barber Of Seville Is Presented
With Skill."
       That provided the final lesson.
Write your own headline!
       Hope that review is buried deep
in the archives.......and that all your
NEWS is good!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


                       MAIL CALL!

       I wonder, as you check your mail today,
if you'll find a card from a friend? It's the
perfect day for it. February 7th is "Send A
Card To A Fiend Day."
       Most of us don't get many cards these
days. Except, of course, at Christmas.
       Social media and Smartphone texts
seem to have taken the place of hand written
        Even when I do send mail I'm more
likely to write it on my laptop and print
the message that's going into the
envelope. My excuse is my poor handwriting.
I want to make sure the person getting my
letter can understand what I've written.
Still I understand how much more impact
my communication would have if it were
hand written.
        My best friend, I've mentioned him
before, not only still hand writes his cards
and letters. He still manages to use every
bit of space on the card and, often, even
on the envelope.
        I keep a magnifying glass handy in
case I get mail from him. And even if I
have to squint it's a pleasure to read what
he has to say.
        So here's a thought. Since this is
"Send" rather than "Receive" A Card
From A Friend Day, you've still got
time to write to a loved one or
old friend!. And I suspect, handwritten
or typed, there's someone waiting to
hear from you!
        Hope you include a note to
me and that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, February 5, 2018


            HISTORY LESSONS!

     I always liked History class. Taught as
stories rather than just dates it can be
extremely interesting.
     I thought I had  pretty good grasp of
history from the mid 40's on because I
lived through it. A cold and cough
convinced me I still had a lot to learn!
      Since I was a bit under the weather
and had no place I had to go I did some
searching of available movies on TV.
I guess because I was out of action I
decided to see if I could find a couple
of Action flicks.
      The first was called "The Siege
At Jadotville" about a small group of
157 Irish soldiers assigned to the United
Nations who took on a force of 3,000
rebels and mercenaries in the Congo
in 1961. They battled until their
ammunition and supplies ran out at
which point there were forced to surrender.
        It was exciting especially at the
end when the credits indicated it was
based on a true story! I had never heard
of it but when I checked the story on
line it turned out to be absolutely true.
          Turns out their heroic actions
were buried generally until about a year
or two ago because of politics!
           Next movie that grabbed my
attention was "Defiance" about a group
of Jewish brothers who hid others
fleeing from the Nazis and saved
over a thousand by literally living in
the forests and fighting when they had
             Another exciting adventure and,
as it turns out, another absolutely true
story! More history I never heard about!
              They say truth is stranger than
fiction and I think they're right! I'm
happy more and more of these stories
we never read about seem to be
coming to light in books and motion
                Wouldn't it be nice if some
of the adventures coming out of our
own back yard, like the mining industry,
could educate all of us if put on film!
We see Historical markers to mining
disasters all over the area. Most of those
stories produced heroes and villains
that would probably make for great movies!
                  You've got to wonder just how
many stories have been left untold!
                  Hope somebody tells them
before they're forgotten and that all your
NEWS is good!



   Every year our family and some friends
get together for a Super Bowl Party.
   We did it again Sunday but things were
just a little different this time around.
    Every hear the question "What if they
threw a party and nobody came?" For a
little while that's how things were looking
for our get together. The slick roads along
with threats of ice and sleet to come
forced a number of people to cancel.
     We still had a respectable sized gang
and enough food to feed two or three
      The other big difference this year
was the Eagles! I enjoy watching
football but baseball is really "my thing."
Two of my grandsons, however, are die
hard Philadelphia Eagle fans and my
son-in-law.....well he's from Philly!
Enough said!
        I, of course, was cheering for the
Eagles to win.
        Things began to look a
little dicey during the second half and
I admit I was afraid the game might
not work out in Philly's favor.
        We had to leave before the game
ended and as we left it was still pretty
much anybody's game.
        I was happy to find the roads in
pretty good shape as we made our way
home. I turned on the TV even before
I took my coat off.
       It was just in time to catch the "Hail
Mary pass" which, as it happens, New
England missed!
        There are a lot of happy people in
our family today and I'm happy for them.
Hope I can say the same for the Yankees
this year and that all your NEWS is

Saturday, February 3, 2018


      SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH., 2018

       Every Saturday morning I call a radio
talk show based at a small AM station in
Lansford PA. The program is called "Coal
Region Connections" and, as the title implies,
folks like to talk about the old days here in
Coal country.
         Last week I had some comments about
the F.M. Kirby Theater in Wilkes-Barre
which prompted a listener to ask if the Kirby
family, for whom the theater, a health center,
and a city park are named, was connected
to the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Company.
          It is not!
          The Kirby family was part of the
partnership that created the Woolworth
chain of five and dime stores across the
            At one time most every area city
and even some of the larger Boroughs
had a 5 and 10 cent store in which you
could buy just about anything you needed.
            And consider this. Three of the
nations largest Five and Dime Store
chains were founded right here in our
             Kirby opened his first 5 & 10
Cent Store in Wilkes-Barre and his
chain became Woolworths.
              Sebastian Kresge was born in
Allentown and grew up in Kresgeville
(named for his ancestors) in Monroe
County.  He founded the Kresge 5 & 10
Cent Stores which eventually became  
K Mart.
                 And J. J. Newberry's Five
and Dime Store empire was started
by John Newberry who was bore in
Sunbury and opened his first store in
                 I spent plenty of time in the
5 & 10 Cent Stores even though I'm
hard pressed to remember being able
to buy anything, except maybe a candy
bar, for 5 or 10 cents! Still, their merchandise
was usually cheap enough to fit within my
salary range, especially in my early days
of broadcasting.
                   They'd fit pretty well into
my retirement bracket too if they were
all still around!
                    Hope somebody brings
them back and that all your NEWS
is good!

Friday, February 2, 2018



    For those who remember those lyrics from
Don McLean's song "American Pie" February
3rd is "the day the music died."
    It was one this date in 1959 that three
popular musical artists, Buddy Holly, J.P.
Richardson (The Big Bopper), and Ritchie
Valens died in a plane crash near Clear Lake,
     It wasn't until later that year I began
my broadcasting career but as a teen I was
certainly familiar with all three singers.
Their impact on the music industry wasn't
really realized until years later when singers
like Elvis and the Beatles acknowledged
their influence.
     McLean's song didn't come out until
1971. The meaning of its lyrics have been
debated even since but it's generally accepted
that the line "the day the music died" refers
to that crash in 59.
      It got me to thinking about some of
the things and expressions used by those
of us who were around then that will
likely be lost or, at the very least, highly
confusing to those who have only been
around for the past 20 or 30 years.
      Who was it, for instance, who was
1st in war, 1st in peace and last in the
American League? How many remember
what the initials LSMFT stood for. Or
where you heard them then that you
won't hear them now?
        I wonder how many High School
students could tell you who the "M&M
Boys" were without asking Alexa?
        Then again, I don't have an Alexa
around to ask why anyone would drive
their Chevy to the Levee!
         Hope somebody knows why and
 that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, February 1, 2018



   The eyes of many focus on Punxsutawney
Pennsylvania every February 2nd to see if
or famous Groundhog will or will not see
his shadow. See it and we face six more weeks
of winter. If not we're in for an early Spring.
    What you may not know, however, is that
the Groundhog isn't the only animal claiming
this day as its own!
     February 2nd is also Hedgehog Day. And
Marmot Day. And Shed Dog Day!
     Now the Hedgehog and the Marmot and
the Groundhogs are pretty much cousins so
I can understand sharing the day. In Alaska,
however "Groundhog Day" has been officially
replace by "Marmot Day" as the Marmot is
native to our 49th state.
      Rather than taking sides in this debate I
have decided to let the Sled Dog decide the
weather outlook.
       If the dogs come tethered to a sled I'll
prepare myself for 6 more weeks of winter.
       Of course it's also Bubble Gum Day.
I'm not sure if there's a weather connection
there or not!
        Hope the outlook is for sunshine and
that all your NEWS is good!