Monday, April 30, 2018


  TUESDAY, MAY 1ST., 2018

   My granddaughter sent me a
text message on Monday. She
needed to be picked up after
school. I asked what time to
which she replied "4:45ish."
    I have noticed that term
being used more and more
frequently  when it comes to
setting the time for various
     When the family gathers
for holiday meals I often hear
my daughter or wife telling
guests we'll get together around
     I don't usually wear a watch
anymore but I still own one. I
just check my Flip phone if I
have need to check the hour.
     But I must report that neither
my wristwatch nor cell phone
have an indicator for "ish."
      It never existed when I was
on the News beat. We gathered
and edited our stories and had to
have them ready on the hour.
There was no 6ish in television!
      I kind of like it when times
are set exactly.
       I guess one advantage is the
fact "ish" can be used in both
the AM and PM and in both
Standard and Daylight Savings
        OK. That's it for today's
blog. Watch for tomorrow's.
I'll post it around 11ish PM.
         Till the I hope all your
NEWS is goodish!

Sunday, April 29, 2018


   MONDAY, APRIL 30TH., 2018
   Before we bid farewell to April
let's raise a toast, make it carrot juice, to
a very famous rabbit.
    April 30th is Bugs Bunny Day!
    Bugs made his debut as “Happy Rabbit”
in a short theater cartoon called  Porky's Hare
Hunt on this date in 1938!
    That would make Bugs 80-years-old today!
    We all remember Bugs from the cartoons
in which he stared for Warner Brothers
over all those years.
     Many of us remember them from the time
we spent in Movie Theaters "back in the day."
Some of us looked forward to the cartoons
more than the feature1
     To the younger folks Bugs may be better
know from television. He's never left a screen
somewhere in all those years!
     I have still another memory.
     Through all of my pre teen years I can
clearly remember the picture of Bugs and his
buddy Porky Pig that hung on the wall of my
     Their images were outlined in some sort
of luminous paint that made them glow in the
dark after the lights were turned off!
      I suppose it's one of this "childhood" items
my mother decided had outlived it's welcome
somewhere along the line. She probably
tossed it!
    Now I'm kind of wondering what a classic
like that might be worth these days?! It could
have been a "20 CAROT picture!" Get it?
    Here's hoping that "Wascally Wabbit"
keeps besting Elmer Fudd for another
80 years, and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, April 28, 2018


  SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH. 2018

    Wait! Before you read anymore
this blog is not about football (though
I hope you get a kick out of it!)
      I'm looking back on a lot of really
great memories on this April 29th.
49years ago today my wife and I
were married!
   Since I only met her a little over
a year before we wed my memories
now include some 50 years.
    We, like all other couples, have
gone through some tough times.
Especially those years when, one
by one, we lost our parents.
     But life has been really good for
us! Three great kids and six wonderful
grandchildren. And we're especially
blessed because they all live close by.
Our time spent with all of them is,
perhaps, our greatest treasure,
     We've also been blessed with the
roles we picked up as Travel Hosts.
      After our wedding reception we
walked into the parking lot and I asked
my bride which way she'd like to go.
She pointed North so our Honeymoon
was planned day by day and we went
from place to place. The most  impressive
at the time was probably New York City,
       Over the last few years we've been
to British Columbia, San Francisco,
Halifax, Ireland, Hawaii, Scotland, Italy,
Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and several
of our National Parks including Mount
       Not bad for those old newlyweds
who just started out for places unknown.
        If I knew how great it was going to
be I would have married her 10 years
earlier! Of course that could have been
a problem because she would only have
been 9!
       Our future is, of course, filled with
unknowns, As long as we're facing them
together I'll be OK.
        My wife has made these last 49
years the best of my life. Thank you
sweetheart and Happy Anniversary!
        May all your, and our, NEWS be

Friday, April 27, 2018



   I made my annual visit to the Bear
Creek Charter School Friday.
   Every April I get an invitation to
share my stories about the Titanic
to some of the students there. I've
got some interesting connections to
the Titanic story which I've shared
here a time or two.
    My stories, for the most part, deal
with a few people from this area who
found themselves on the infamous
     Of course the main story always
ends the same way. Titanic sinks!
But it's interesting to see how these
grade school students react to this
historic event. I get a good take
from their questions.
       For many, their exposure to
the disaster is, to some extent, based
on their seeing the 1997 movie
"Titanic."  Keep in mind these are
grade school students so they've
see the movie on television!
         After I explained that the
grave of a Titanic victim marked
"J. Dawson" was not the Jack
Dawson character in the movie
one student asked where Rose
was buried. Rose, of course, is
another character in the movie.
          Another then wondered if
the "Heart of the Ocean" (the
diamond featured in the movie
storyline) was real. It was not.
although I have purchased a copy
for my wife. I couldn't convince
her it was the real thing!
           It's amazing how the stories
of Titanic, real and fictional, hold
the attention of these kids 106 years
after the ship went down!
           If it takes movies to get
students more interested in history
I say "Make them" then take class
time to discuss the actual events!
            Hope they can separate
the fact from the fiction and that
all your NEWS is good.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


   FRIDAY, APRIL 27TH., 2018
          NO GYM NEEDED!

    I have a suggestion for those who
might want to get some exercise but
aren't signed up at a local Gym!
    Get a grandson! Preferably about
     We watch our little guy every
Thursday and, since there was a
hint of sunshine during his latest
visit I decided to take him to an
area playground.
      I think the idea was sound but
the choice of playgrounds was
probably a big mistake.
       I passed by my usual stop
for a playground a little closer
to our house that has one of those
"Merry-go-rounds." You know,
the thing where kids hold on to
iron bars while you push them in
a circle.
       The playground I usually go
to doesn't have one of those but
does have a walking trail and a
couple baseball fields where my
little buddy usually runs around.
        The playground I choose is
small and fenced in. There's no
room to run.
         That "Merry-go-round" was
neat but I quickly realized I had to
provide all the power to make it
spin! While the grandson enjoyed
the ride I got exhausted doing the
         Speaking of pushing, the
grandson's other favorite attraction
was the swing. There will come a
day when he's able to pull the
chains and rock his feet to make
himself go higher and higher. But,
for now, that's my chore!
          By the time I talked him into
leaving I felt like I had been in the
decathlon,,,,,and lost!
           Just before I reached the
house I realized that all that fresh
air had put the little guy to sleep!
           So my final task in the
unexpected workout was to
unbuckle him from his safety
seat, lift him out, and carry him
back to the bedroom for his nap.
           Hope I can take one too
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


    THURSDAY, APRIL 25TH., 2018

    I suppose it could be argued that many
of the holidays of which I write could be
considered twisted.
    But this one is for real! April 25th is
National Pretzel Day!
    Pretzels are believed to be the world's
oldest snack. They date back to 610AD
in Southern France.
    I just had some Sour Dough pretzels
that were so had I thought they might
have been baked by the Monks that
first produced them!
    And while they may be the world's
oldest snack I'm thinking the potato
chip is probably the world's first choice.
    Pop corn may beat them out too!
    Pretzels have always been associated
with beer but that may stem from the
fact both have been big in Germany
for many years.
     Nobody seems to know who picked
this day to honor pretzels. Or why.
     But since I've got some in the
kitchen I'll likely join in the celebration.
     Hope you'll join in and that all your
NEWS is good!  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25TH., 2018
             WHERE YOU FROM?

     Today you may find yourself asking
yourself where you're from. And I don't
mean what town!
      The question would be appropriate
because April 25th is World DNA Day!
It celebrates the day in 1953 when a team
of scientists first published a paper on the
structure of human DNA.
       We've come a long way since then.
Maybe too far!
        Of course DNA technology has done
a great deal of good especially in the
criminal justice field where innocent
men have been freed and guilty parties
have been convicted.
       DNA evidence has also lead to
great revelations like the actual identity
of the "unknown child from the Titanic."
       But DNA has also spawned a big
business as people use it to search their
family backgrounds.
        My wife and one of her brothers
have taken DNA tests that trace family
back to several different countries. It
even identified a woman said to be a
close DNA match to both of them that
neither of them know or ever heard
        Then there's the connection my
wife supposedly has to another family
in New York that, if accurate, could
give her a role in the next Godfather
movie! I'm not so sure we want to
know too much more about that!
           I've seen that guy on TV
who thought he was German and
now wears a kilt since his DNA
traced his family to Scotland.
          I'd look terrible in a kilt so I
think I'll just rely on family stories
that trace one side back to the
American Revolution and the other
to great-great-grandparents from the
same town in Italy.
          Asking anymore could risk
tying me to some rival family in
New York!
          Hope you know where you're
from and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, April 23, 2018


    TUESDAY, APRIL 24TH., 2018

   [Author's note: No fish were harmed
during the activities that lead to this
   It's been awhile since I did any
fishing. I've always enjoyed the sport.
But getting prepared can be a chore.
    Still, when two of my grandkids
expressed an interest in going fishing
I just couldn't say no.
     After all my participation would
be limited to providing transportation
and relaxing with my Senior License
displayed while the kids handled the
fishing chores. Right? Well not
      First my grandson explained there
were some problems with the line on
his fishing rod. Several casts into the
lake later those problems were confirmed
as we found his line wrapped around the
pole, itself, and even the center shaft
hidden within his enclosed reel.
      Fishing line does not untangle
easily but we managed to get it free
enough to allow for some lengthy
       My granddaughter's inexpensive
fishing rod was working just fine. She
was most happy to watch the bobber in
case a wayward fish latched onto the
hook and pulled it underwater. But
she was not so anxious to put the
bait (worms) on the line.
        After working to get the lines and
baited hooks into the water I was just
as happy to watch them float rather
than hook a fish so that's how we
enjoyed a few hours at the lake.
          I guess a Grandpa is a pretty
good accessory to keep with a young
one's fishing gear. At least that's what
I'm thinking.
          Hope you catch your limit and
that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, April 22, 2018


   MONDAY, APRIL 23RD., 2018
            THE BIG SCREEN!

      April 23rd is "Movie Theater
        They probably should have
scheduled it a day later since
Tuesday is $5 day at several of
our local theaters.
         As many of you already
know I kind of grew up in movie
theaters. My Dad was a projectionist
which meant I had free admission
where he worked for many years.
         Theaters have changed a lot
since those days.
          We used to have a lot of
small neighborhood movie
theaters around. I had two within
5 blocks of my house when I was
a kid. I had to pay at both of those
but the admission was about 13cents
and that got you in to see a double
feature, a comedy short film like
the Three Stooges, a newsreel and at
least one cartoon.
          Television put an end to the
neighborhood theaters and the
theaters that survived became
Multiplex houses. You know, five
or more screens in one theater.
           The double features have
been replaced by first run movies.
Only one. The comedy shorts,
newsreel, and cartoon have been
replaced by a pre-feature
"infomercial"  about movie
productions and even TV shows,
and a series of coming attractions
that run long enough to allow you
to finish your extra large popcorn
before the feature ever starts!
            The latest change, of course,
is the inclusion of reclining lounge
chairs in the theaters. They are
comfortable and do allow for a
pleasant nap should the feature be
a bust.
              I miss the Three Stooges
and the cartoons! Most of all I miss
the 13 cent admission!
               But I still enjoy a day or
night out at the movies! Hope you
do too and that all your NEWS is

Saturday, April 21, 2018


       SUNDAY, APRIL 22ND., 2018

    I had mixed emotions as I drove along
the rural road not far from my house
    There were large garbage bags, filled
to capacity, every 20 to 30 yards just off
the pavement.
     They had been filled earlier in the day
by volunteers taking part in one of the
many Earth Day clean up efforts scheduled
throughout the area.
      As great as it was to see the results of
their labor there was also the realization
that a whole lot of other people had
tossed all that trash out in the first place!
       And you've got to wonder why it's
such a big problem here and not in other
countries. We've been to Switzerland
twice and it's rare to see litter along any
of the highways there.
       I'd bet if you did find any it was
probably an American tourist who
tossed it!
       The future may tell a different story.
Kids today, the very young ones, seem a
lot more concerned about the environment
than those who grew before them. Between
them and the volunteers who filled all those
bags I think Earth Day can be considered
a success.
        Hope there comes a day when they'll
be no litter to pick up......and that all your
NEWS is good.

Friday, April 20, 2018


    SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST., 2018
            SHARING THE DAY!

      Somehow it doesn't seem quite fair.
 Mother's Day is for Moms. Valentines
Day, though technically for lovers, always
favors the ladies as do anniversaries.
      April 21st is Husband Appreciation
Day! I'll bet most husbands aren't even
aware of this special occasion. And even
if they are they've got to share the day!
      You see April 21st is also Auctioneers
Day, Comcast Cares Day, Kindergarten
Day, Record Store Day, The Queen's
actual Birthday, National Yellow Bat
Day, National Surprise Drug Test Day,
national Chocolate covered Cashews
Day, Spring Astronomy Day, and
Bulldogs are Beautiful Day!
       Maybe your wife will surprise you
with a drug test or wake you up with a
rendition of "God Save The Queen."
       Perhaps you'll luck out with a box
of chocolate covered cashews or a trip
to the record store.
       Think I'll just sack out and observe
Spring Astronomy Day by staring into
space. Hope the Bulldogs keep their
distance and that all your NEWS is

Thursday, April 19, 2018


    FRIDAY, APRIL 20TH., 2018

    April 20th is Chinese Language
Day!. I didn't know that until I happen
to see it on my list of unusual holidays.
     I've never really know much about
China either.
     I know there's a very big wall there.
I believe we're trying to build one now
     My first exposure to Chinese
"culture" came when I was about 4
and our family made a trip to Chicago.
     Our tour of the Windy City included
a stop in Chinatown which I found a
little bit scary. There were a lot of
dragons with big teeth and they
scared me.
       Much later I saw the movie
"Flower Drum Song" which featured
a Chinese theme and Chinese actors.
I liked that but I'm not sure I ever
heard anybody speak Chinese!
        More recently my daughter took
in an exchange student from China.
We've asked to hear a Chinese word
or phrase from time to time but I've
never actually learned any Chinese
from him.
        His English is rough but at least
he knows enough to get by. If I were
ever in China I'd probably have to
search for a McDonalds to try to
        Actually Chinese Language
Day is an effort by the United
Nations to recognize each of the
six languages officially used by
that international organization.
         By the way April 23rd is
English Language Day.
         Hope most of us can speak
that one (correctly) and that all
your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


               THURSDAY, APRIL 19TH., 2018

    I'm wondering if you, like I, caught the story of
the young man who received a summons to appear
for Jury duty in Luzerne County?
    We do encourage our young people to learn
about the workings of our justice system so, on
one hand, this summons presented a unique
educational opportunity.
     Of course at my age nearly everyone called
to jury duty seems like a kid to me. But the
this young man is only 4-years-old!
      Were jurors allowed to ask questions during
trials I might be apt to support such a young
recruit. My 2-year-old grandson asks some of the
best and mot pertinent questions I've ever heard
and tends to get right to the point.
        I was always under the impression the
county put its list of potential jurors together
from names of licensed drivers in the
jurisdiction. Somehow I doubt that our 4-year-
old potential juror has one of those licenses
just yet so I guess I'll just have to accept
the county's explanation that this particular
summons is all just one big mistake.
          You must admit the potential
inclusion of kids, perhaps just a bit older,
offers some interesting possibilities that
could revolutionize our justice system!
            Since I'm frequently accused of
acting like a child it would be easy to
get a jury of my peers!
             And it would probably be
better to face a "Time Out" rather than
a lengthy sentence should I be convicted!
              Hope our young man is ready
for the call when he's actually old
enough and, until then, that all your
NEWS is good!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


              WORTH THE WAIT!

      I've had a craving for a Stookey's
pork bar-b-q for a few days now.
      I hadn't been there since January
when we happen to be that day's 45th
customer which qualified us for a free
       What a fantastic treat! Delicious
bar-b-q and no bill!
        I thought we'd make it back there
Saturday when the weather was nice
enough for a top down drive in the
        But the ice cream stop we made
filled us up so we put Stookey's on
the back burner (or Bar-B-Q).
        Sunday was just too busy and
we got tied up on Monday as well.
        On Tuesday, after a doctor's
appointment then a movie, we just
couldn't wait anymore!
        We dug in! I decided the wait
was worth two pork sandwiches
with a side of fries which my wife
opted for the beef bar-b-q.
          It was well worth the wait!
Especially when we learned that
the operators actually give two
free meals every day based on
numbers that figure into their
90 year plus run.
         And, YES, for the second
time we happen to be the
customers that matched the number!
         I probably should have run
out and bought a lottery ticket!
        What a treat! Thank you, again.
         Hope you're all feeling as good
as I am and that all your NEWS is

Monday, April 16, 2018



    Mariah swung by for a visit
Sunday night. I suspect she likely
blew by your place too.
     They do still call the wind
Mariah don't they?
      I heard her building up to a
roar about the time I went to bed.
I don't know if it was the strongest
wind we've had this year. But when
I glanced out the window I though,
for just a moment, I saw Dorothy,
Toto, and a witch on a broom
flying by!
      The cover on my Miata was
held on by two ten pounds weights
in the front, part of an old five pound
weight and a gallon jug filled with
water in the back.
       All four weights were still on
the ground when I awoke but the
cover was on the ground behind
the car held there by the water that
filled it like a child's wading pool!
        That was from "Tess." That's
what they call the rain.
         At least our roof stayed on the
house! The guests at that Scranton
apartment building weren't as
          Mariah seemed to mark the
end of the two day summer we
enjoyed. And she sure took it out
in a hurry!
           Hope everything at your
place was nailed down and that all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, April 15, 2018


  MONDAY, APRIL 16TH., 2018
         KODAK COMOTION!  

     We were in the middle of my wife's
family reunion in Florida. Lots of
activities, action, and plenty of photo
      Imagine the feeling then when my
wife suddenly said "Where's my
camera?" She had been taking
pictures all along but right then and
there the camera was no where in
     It's always in her purse except when
she pulls it out to snap a picture. It's
always there. Except this time it wasn't!
      We combed the obvious spots. Chairs
when she had been sitting. The floor
around those chairs. The basket of a
bicycle she had tried to ride. No camera.
      While mentally tracing her movements
she mentioned tossing the recyclables into
a bin so, just in case, I went out and
checked the trash.
       There, about two layers deep, was
her trusted Kodak!
        It's reunion photos had all been
saved and printed by this past weekend
when we took our short walk along the
Lehigh Gorge Trail.
        We left there bound for our
favorite ice cream stand in Nescopeck
when, just out of the community of
Freeland, my wife asked  "Where's my
         Keep in mind we were in my
tiny sports car. There's little room to
misplace anything there. Still we
looked and, of course, found nothing.
         Last she remembered she had
placed it on the trunk while she
changed out of her walking shoes.
Apparently it stayed there, at least
for awhile, as we traveled!
         There was little option but to
retrace our route. That involved about
ten miles of highway curves, hills, and
pot holes ever scanning the berm of the
road looking for a small black bag
about 3 inches wide and an inch and a
half high.
          Sort of like finding a needle in
a very large haystack.
           But some seven miles into our
backtrack there it was, just along
side the highway not 10 inches from
the paved surface! Seems it simply
slid off and didn't even bounce!
            It's fine. It's protective case
did its job and there's not a scratch
on the camera. The photos on its
memory card are just fine and the
Kodak is still taking pictures.
             If my wife wants a new
camera I'd rather she just ask. It
would be a lot easier than playing
"Where's Waldo" or "Kodak Hide
and Seek" after our trips!
             Hope she holds on tighter
next time out and that all your NEWS
is good.

Saturday, April 14, 2018



106 years ago today the mighty

Titanic slid beneath the icy waters
of the Atlantic claiming over 1500
And about this time every year
I get requests to tell the many stories
I've gathered about the ship and some
of its passengers. More than a dozen
listed Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania as
their destination. Some of them made
it and some did not.
So we are clear, and in answer to
a young student's question after one
of my talks, I wasn't there when the
ship went down!
Back in 1972 fate, or coincidence,
placed me in a position to solve a
then 60-yera-old mystery as I was
able to reunite two Titanic survivors.
One had saved the other's infant son
the night the ship sunk. But until I
became involved they didn't know
each other.
That event began my interest
in Titanic related stories and my
invitations to share then with people
who are still fascinated with the
ship all these 106 years later.
I'm glad there's still so much
interest. The last survivor died in
2009 so first hand accounts are
no longer available except as
presented in books or as passed
along through the families of
And those stories are as
thrilling now as they were went
they were originally told by those
who had been on board and lived
to tell about the disaster.
Many are as good or better
than those you've seen in the
movies so while I'm still around
I'm more than happy to tell them!
This is a great day to recount
"A night to remember!"
Hope the stories and the
interest live on and that all your
NEWS is good!

Friday, April 13, 2018


             BROKE DOWN!

   I broke down Friday. In several ways!
   First, the temptation to uncover my
little red Miata and put the top down
was just too much to handle,
    So I broke down, took the cover
off and then realized it wouldn't start!
    It wasn't that it had broken down.
The battery that came with the vehicle
since I bought it just wasn't up to the
the task anymore.
    I figured a jump start would at least
get me powered up again. But there was
a slight problem.
    The Miata's battery is located in the
trunk of the car and my car was facing
out from it's winter parking spot in my
back yard. No way to get a car behind
     Thanks to my advanced electronic
knowledge I came up with a plan. It
involved pulling my SUV as close to
the Miata as possible then hooking
jumper cables from the SUV to a second
set of jumper cables from my wife's car.
      I then hooked the other end of her
cables to the Miata battery terminals
and tried to start the sports car.
      No luck. At least not at first. After
making several attempts to reattach the
various cables to each other I heard that
soft buzz that sounds in the Miata when
you've left the door open with the keys
       Of course having enough power to
make the buzzer work wasn't quite enough
to start the engine. So, I let the SUV run
awhile hoping some of its power would
find its way into the Miata.
        After about a half hour I had success!
        The little engine was running again.
I moved the SUV out of the way, replaced
it with the Miata and made sure the trunk
was facing out.
        The thought of beginning some days
with two cars and cables was a bit much for
me so I broke down again and bought a new
         Hopefully it will serve as long as the
last one and keep me on the road with the
top down as much as possible!
         Hope the weather gives me lots of
chances and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, April 12, 2018


   FRIDAY, APRIL 13TH., 2018
               "HE DID IT!"

     Whatever goes wrong today, if
anything does, don't worry you're
       You see this is the first Friday
the 13th of the year and as such it
is also "Blame Someone Else Day!"
        According to
the blame for this day goes to Anne
Moeller of Clio, Michigan. On the
first Friday the 13th of 1982, Anne's
alarm clock did not go off, and she
over slept. As a result, she was late
for appointments all day long.
According to the story, she spent the
day spreading the blame, and making
excuses for being late.
        Now it's your turn! 
        The only problem is, while you're
busy blaming someone else for
whatever, that someone else may just
be busy pointing the finger at you!
        I would have warned you about
this day sooner but I was afraid Mark
Zuckerberg would have blamed me
for causing trouble on Facebook and
done so in front of congress.
         Hope you have a good alibi
for everything and that all your NEWS
is good!