Saturday, June 30, 2018


   SUNDAY, JULY 1ST., 2018
          RIBS AND RICE!

    After an early afternoon ice cream
run my wife and I retired to the comfort
of our air conditioning as the temperatures
hung in the 90's Saturday.
      By late afternoon, however, we were
both talking about what we might do for
dinner. I suggested we get back in the
car and take a pleasant top down ride to
Kundla's Outdoor Bar-B-Q in Hamlin.
      My wife was OK with the ride but
wasn't really interested in ribs for dinner.
She'd be happy, she said, to get some of
the fresh corn they've famous for and to
dunk her bread rolls in the sauce from
my serving of ribs.
        That was OK by me so we headed
         I thought it would be hard to find
a parking space on a Saturday evening
but that wasn't the case. The reason that
wasn't the case was because they were in
the process of shutting down when we
showed up about 7:15. There was a very
short line which was great!
          I got my ribs then we moved up
to the counter where they served the corn.
We got there just in time to see the last
ear being sold! Oh oh!
          But wait, there's more. Or maybe
I should say "less." There were no rolls!
In fact at that point the only option for
my wife was rice pudding.
           We split the rids even though
she really didn't crave them and we
shared the rice pudding.
            It's been said "The early bird
gets the worm." Apparently, at
Kundla's, the early bird also gets the
corn and the ribs!
             It wasn't what we set out for
but the ride was pleasant and the
unusual combination of Ribs and rice
wasn't bad (although it's hard to dunk
rice pudding in bar-b-q sauce!),
               Hope we remember to watch
our time next time and that all your
NEWS is good!          

Friday, June 29, 2018


    SATURDAY, JUNE 30TH., 2018

  I got some interesting reaction to a
Facebook post I offered yesterday and
I think it's worth some thought here.
   The question I posed was "Does
anyone "Go Steady" anymore?"
    I brought the subject up because
June 29th marked the 50th anniversary
of the day I gave the girl who would
eventually become my wife my class
ring to indicate we were "going steady."
     I gave it to her while we were seated
on a bench on the once world famous
Steel Pier in Atlantic City.
      Back then "going steady" meant
a guy and a girl had pledged themselves
to restrict their dating to each other.
      A High School ring or a College
Fraternity pin was usually the symbol
of that pledge.
       When I mentioned the occasion
to a few family members the other
day we got a "double take" indicating
the term "going steady" had pretty
much gone over their heads.
        Most of the replies to my Facebook
post were from people around my age
who clearly remembered the term or a
similar one, "getting pinned."
         I guess these and some other old
"romantic gestures" have pretty much
disappeared in an era where people
making commitments don't seem to be
as committed as people used to be!
          In our case it worked out pretty
well. We've even outlasted the Steel
Pier! Hope it's steady as she goes for
many more years and that all your
NEWS is good!

Thursday, June 28, 2018


  FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH., 2018
          SAY "CHEESE!"

     Say :Cheese" everybody!
    June 29th is "Camera Day!"
    Cameras have been a part of my
life for many years. Long before I
got into television!
     My Dad was quite a photographer
and we use to develop our own
pictures in a make shift darkroom he
had set up in our basement.
      Additionally I have a great
collection of black and white photos
Dad took of family members well
before I was born.
       I followed in his footsteps
although I still enjoy using a video
camera so I can preserve both the
sights and sounds of life.
       I used a camera so much at
gatherings of family and friends that
many people never realized I had two
       I'm still surprised at the number
of people who don't like to have their
picture taken. Years later many of
them, or their families, will wish
they had those memories to cherish!
        Ironically I'm probably the
person you'll see least often in our
family photos and videos. That's
because I was the guy taking the
pictures! Since I tend to use bigger
still cameras or camcorders it's a
little harder for me to shot "selfies"
then for those of you using Smartphones!
         Anyway, in honor of the day,
make sure you have a Kodak moment
or two whatever kind of camera you're
          Hope everything's in focus and
that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


     THURSDAY, JUNE 28TH., 2018
              NEEDLING ME!

      I suspect my doctor is just like most
others. He like to needle, or joke, with me
as we review all those medical terms that
are Greek (probably actually Latin) to me.
      I had more serious matters on my mind
during Wednesday's visit.
      My allergies has been kicking up since
the beginning of the year. Just about the time
they settled down we paid a visit to Florida
when the pollen count was higher than
usual and there went the allergies again!
        With hot weather returning again this
week I suspected they would show up again.
         Additionally, both of my knees have
been aching like those of an old man. Oh.
wait a minute. I am, that is, well, both knees
have been hurting for the past few weeks.
          Being a kind and concerned physician
my family doctor refrained from needling
me as I explained my concerns and pains.
          Instead he addressed my issues. By
needling me! With real needles!
           Two that seemed rather large to me
were used to inject medicine into both knees.
He put a Band-Aid on both injection spots.
The needles didn't really hurt all that much although
both knees were sore for awhile afterwards.
            As for the allergies, he found a needle
that should help that problem too.
             I got that injection last or, you could
say at the "end" of the visit. I think he put a
Band-Aid back there too. I'm not sure. I can't
see it.
             Hope he can "stick" to jokes next
visit and that all your NEWS is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018



    Today I'd like to talk with you about
my wife's body. No! Wait a minute. Let
me rephrase that. I'd like to talk with you
about my wife's body work. On our car!
     One of our vehicles had developed
rust on the rear wheel wells. It was just
enough to worry about the possibility
it might not pass inspection.
      Unlike nearby New York, Pennsylvania
can be fussy about rust. Officials in the
Empire State seem to realize auto body
rust is something that comes along with
living in the northeast and driving on
winter roads that contain more salt than
the Dead Sea.
        Anyhow my wife and I made a
joint decision to patch the bad spots
with Bondo.
        Even a basic job like that requires
some knowledge of what you're doing
and patience. Bot to mention working
with tools and paint! All of that, of course,
left me out.
         So, I bought the supplies and agreed
to stay out of her way except to take a
photo or two of the work.
         I suspect, after this Blog is published,
she'll be getting offers from auto body shops
throughout the region! Hope she tells them
who took the pictures and that all your
NEWS is good!

Monday, June 25, 2018


      TUESDAY, JUNE 26TH., 2018

   Welcome to June 26th., "National Canoe
    According to the Web this unusual
holiday can be traced to 2007. But nobody
seems to know just who started it.
    It wasn't me. I have had some experience
in canoes but it hasn't all been good!
    In an earlier blog I recalled the trip my
late cameraman Bob Dennis and I planned
for the Susquehanna River.
    I had a one man canoe which promptly
sank as the two of us got in at Kirby Park.
Wet and embarrassed, we readjusted our
gear and set sail (of course we actually
paddled) south to the Susquehanna Steam
Electric Station.
     When you stop to think about it the
Susquehanna was Interstate 81 for
native Americans from this area a
couple hundred years ago and canoes
were their Chevys and Fords!
     It's amazing how different things look
from the river. Very nice actually! As long
as you're on it and not waist deep in it!
      Earlier in life I remember my friend
and I taking a canoe out on Penn Lake.
It was a bigger canoe and I was a lot
smaller then so we didn't have any
problem on that voyage.
        Canoe day is celebrated, or
observed, in both the U.S and Canada
so perhaps it should be called
International Canoe Day.
        I've often wondered why many
people worry about being up the
creek without a paddle! Seems to me the
problem would be to be downstream without
a paddle!
        But whether you're upstream or
downstream don't forget your life jacket so
we can be sure all your NEWS stays

Sunday, June 24, 2018


    MONDAY, JUNE 25TH., 2018

     Our Sunday began in typical
fashion. We headed out to church
and, afterwards, joined our daughter,
granddaughter, pastor and his wife
for a pleasant lunch.
      The day was still young. Or so
we thought!
       After a short stop at an area
Thrift shop my wife, granddaughter,
and I decided to take in some of
the fun at Wilkes-Barre's Riverfest.
        The celebration began Friday
evening and continued into Saturday
and Sunday. Problem was, it didn't
go too far into Sunday!
          By the time we found what
we thought was a good place to park
and walked up on the levee all we
spotted at riverside was some large
empty tents. It was only about 3 o'clock
but the boaters, the musicians, and the
vendors were all packed up and on their
        Maybe they took the party down
river somewhere? Seems to be a weekend
festival should be "festive" till somewhere
near sundown which, at this time of the
year, is well after 8pm. 3 certainly seems
a bit early to call it quits. I'm sure others
who attended church and had a family
lunch would feel the same way.
         Fortunately our church was trying
something new. Flyers were placed at
all the homes on the road near our place
of worship inviting neighbors to an ice
cream social. We weren't sure whether
any of those neighbors would show up
or not so, just in case, out church family
was invited too!
          Our Riverfest disappointment was
quickly resolved by some good company,
including a few church neighbors, who
turned out tp enjoy a couple bowls of
ice cream and some friendly conversation!
And even after the ice cream was served
people stayed around. Hint, hint!
           Hope you have a festive day
where ever your were and that all
your NEWS is good!

Saturday, June 23, 2018


    SUNDAY, JUNE 23RD., 2018

    There are times when it's really good
to get close to the action! You know, seats
on the 50 yard line at the big game or
center court at the tennis match.
     This does not apply to your local
movie theater!
      On Saturday I violated one of my
own long standing rules and invited my
wife to go to the movies.
       I haven't enjoyed Saturday movies
since the days when I paid about 13 cents
to see a Western double feature (or the
Bowery Boys) the latest chapter in the
weekly serial, a Three Stooges episode,
and a couple cartoons.
        These Saturdays the theaters are often
crowded with teens who feel it necessary
to conduct conversations while the actors
deliver their lines or comment on the
attributes of the actor or actress on screen.
        I thought this time would be different.
I expected a crowded theater since a number
of "Children's Movies" were playing. But
the feature we wanted to see has been running
for a couple weeks so I didn't expect a big
turnout. Wrong!
        Our auditorium was just about filled
when we showed up. The only seat options
were the first two rows closest to the screen
or two seats in the third row which is
separated from the first two by an aisle.
         We took the two rather than waste
our trip. The new reclining seats were of
some help in our case since the headrests
provided some comfort as we stared up
at the huge screen!
           The movie was great and that
helped too! (The Book Club) Now I'm
balancing my neck muscles by staring
down at my laptop as I write this Blog.
 I will also make a note to adhere to my
policy of NO Saturday movies!
            Tuesdays look attractive because
admission is only five bucks. But unless
you get there early the other "cheapies"
like me will quickly fill those prime seats.
            I'm thinking our best bet is to
catch a movie in its last week on a Monday!
Then it's only bakers, barbers, and us looking
for the best seats!
             Hope I don't find any busses
parked outside and that all your NEWS is

Friday, June 22, 2018


    SATURDAY, JUNE 23RD., 2018
           OLD MAN RIVER!

     They tell me they didn't plan it that
way but Wilkes-Barre's annual
Riverfest celebration which runs all
this weekend, falls on the anniversary
of the 1972 Tropical Storm Agnes
      If you're 50 or under that storm
is just a footnote in local history for
you. Something your Mom and Dad
or grandparents may tell you about.
      I can tell you that nobody was
"celebrating" the Susquehanna back
      The boats you'll see sailing or
racing during Riverfest would have
been using South Main Street in
Wilkes-Barre as they course during
the flood!
       I was News Director of WILK
radio in those days but, with the
permission of my boss, became the
Public Information Officer for
Luzerne County Civil Defense as
the emergency unfolded.
       I was using a two way radio in
the sub-basement of the Luzerne
County Courthouse to broadcast the
latest news as the river kept rising.
During one of my broadcasts water
started gushing up like a fountain
from a drain in the floor! Being
a "trained observer" I felt it might
be time to leave the room. In fact
we all left the sub basement and,
eventually, the Courthouse.
        I watched as the old North,
or Pierce Street Bridge crumbled
to pieces as the fast flowing water
covered its deck and destroyed its
         I was there as the sirens
sounded warning hundreds of
volunteers to abandon their sand
bagging efforts and go to safety
and I broadcast those now
infamous words "Get out now"
as an evacuation of the city was
         I called my wife, who was
on safe ground, and told her I'd
be a little late. I stopped at home
for a few hours three days later!
Glad she knew there was a flood!
         The storm caused about a
billion dollars in damage and 3
lives were lost in our area.
           In time the city rebuilt and
the levees were raised to provide
additional protection although no
one can guarantee the river won't
someday go higher than those
          But that was then and this
is now. It's great to see the river
being celebrated as an asset rather
than a liability! It's wonderful to
see kayaks and canoes in the water
and to see fishermen trying to catch
"the big one!"
           And it's certainly great to see
water going down drains instead of
gushing up through them!
            Whatever happens in the
years ahead Old Man River really
will keep rolling along and I, for
one, am happy to see people
enjoying it!
             Hope it stays that way and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, June 21, 2018


    FRIDAY, JUNE 22ND., 2018

     You've got to be amazed by those
stories from the old west when men
known as trackers could literally
look at hoof prints in the dirt and
determine how many riders had
gone by and, often, exactly where
they were headed.
       These days every road and
street are named and most of us
have a GPS system in our car to
point out the fastest way to get where
we're going. For those not technically
inclined old fashion maps are still
available to help you find your way!
        We choose the Garmin as our
initial direction finder when we
headed out to meet our son and daughter-
in-law for dinner on Thursday.
          We had a fish dinner in mind
and they found a place that featured
seafood on its menu.
           Our GPS was not as exact as
we hoped it might be even though we
entered the exact address. I was
especially surprised when my wife
spotted the seafood painting on the
place two miles before the Garmin
indicated we should be there.
             The place seemed very nice
though the prices were a bit more
than we had expected.
              Sine we arrived first we
ordered  water and a coke and
told the waitress we'd wait for our
other family members to join us.
When they didn't after a respectable
few minutes I texted my son to let
him know we were in the place and
already had a table.
               Problem was.....he and his
wife were already in the place and
had a table!  Seems some of us were
in the wrong place!
                That seemed to be my wife
and I so we apologized to the waitress
and left to complete our dinner
rendezvous. That's when I noticed
the "Seafood Painting" my
wife had spotted had a name above
it as well. And it wasn't the name
of the place we were suppose to meet!
My wife saw the painting but ignored
the name!
                It was a nice painting but
it might have been better to read
rather the just look at the sign!
                After a bit more searching
we did find the other place and
enjoyed a great dinner together!
                Hope you're reading the
signs and that all your NEWS is

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


    THURSDAY, JUNE 21ST., 2018
                NOT YET!  

      For those who may not know I
do some writing for the NEPA Family
Times.  I write a Grandparents column.
       On this first day of summer I'd
like to share my latest essay which
was inspired by my weekly outings
with my 2 and a half year old grandson.
        Hope you enjoy it.

    Math has never been my specialty but
lately I find myself using some new math
when it comes to dealing with my two and
a half year old grandson.
     Before I attempt to explain I must
caution parents and other grandparents.
Don't use this math if you're attempting
to raise a child with strict disciplinary
      It started out well. We were at a local
playground. My grandson was on the
swing and I was pushing it. As my back
grew weary I suggested it might be time
to stop. "Not yet" he answered.
     Since I hadn't given much warning
I responded with the phrase "OK. One
more time."
      That sentence can be added to the
list of famous last words.
       One more time turned into two, and
then three, and another two or so.
       And that was just the swing! My
suggestion it might be time to go was
also greeted with a "Not yet."
        Soon "One more time" was
replaced by "One last time." But, of
course, the actual "last time" came a
little later.
        Yep. Grandpa kept giving in.
Probably a bad habit.
         I wondered about that but
suddenly realized I wasn't on any
time table when I took the little
guy out. It was sore muscles rather
that a busy calendar that had me
thinking about putting my feet up
         And then another thought
came into my mind. It was based on
a saying I heard one time. "Let me
love him a little bit more before he's
not little anymore."
           All too soon I may be
watching him leave to go home and
I'll be the one saying "Not yet" or
asking him to play a game with me
"one more time."
            Maybe, if I'm lucky, my
grandson will remember the few
extra rides on the swing or time
spent in the playground and stick
around "one last time."
             Hope all your NEWS is

Tuesday, June 19, 2018



   My wife and I were back in Philadelphia
Tuesday for what I call her 10,000 mile
check up.
    It's been just about 13 months since her
open heart surgery so our specialist there
checked over all the data and adjusted her
medications a bit. Basically she passed
inspection (although she did not get a
sticker like the one we have to have on our
cars. I think she deserves a sticker!)
     We took a little time to get a bite to
eat while we were in town and sat at a
sidewalk table to enjoy our lunch.
     It's near to survey the skyline of big
cities like this. But it's hard to keep up with
the way it's always changing!
     We watched prior to and just after her
operation as a huge skyscraper was being
built. It's like a mountain of glass that
reflects the clouds and sunshine from its
towering mass. On Tuesday there were
no more cranes on top. The building
looked complete, at least from the
       Just a few blocks away from our
lunch table the skeleton of another new
building is taking shape. At this stage
I couldn't tell how high it will eventually
be. It looks like a giant Erector set with
steel beams being put in place.
        Occasionally you'll see a worker
walking a beam or looking down from
their high perch. I'm not real big on
heights unless it's from the comfort of
a plane or helicopter. And speaking of
comfort, maybe that's why  it was the two
"Job Johnnies" sitting atop the skeleton
that caught my attention and brought some
questions to mind.
         They sat on what looked to be the edge
of the highest floor of the new structure.
         How did they get there? They had
to be at least 10 stories above the street!
How does the service company...."service"
them? And why are there two? I doubt
one is for the handicapped. Not that far
about the city! Perhaps the law requires
a "Men's and a "Ladies Room", whatever
the elevation?
          I guess it's just the reporter in me.
Anyway it's nice to know they're there.
We're always looking for a restrooms in
a strange city.
          Hope they're not the only choice
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, June 18, 2018


   TUESDAY, JUNE 19TH., 2018

    I was watching the news Monday
night when I saw a clip of the President
proposing a new branch of the Military.
    If the plan makes it through
Congress the U.S. Space Force will be
competing with the Army, Navy, and
Air Force for recruits.
     I suppose basic training would be
something like that used to train
astronauts in the years when we were
in the "space race."
     I kind of like this idea. In fact, in a
sense, I'm already a "veteran."
     Many years ago I joined the "Rocket
Ranger Corps." True, it was only a TV
show. But, in essence, it depicted our
fighting forces doing battle in the realm
of deep space.
       I really got into it! I still remember
the words and music to the Corp's march.
And best of all I still have my Rocket
Ranger Corps Shirt. It may have shrunk
a little over the years but I've still got it!
       Maybe the new force would like to
sign me on as an advisor. Although I'm
not sure I'm up for a long deployment
on Mars these days.
        If they're smart supporters will
pull up the old Rocket Ranger march
for their theme song. It's catchy and
will help lure recruits to the corps!
        I'm not exactly sure what its
mission will be although, since we're
talking about space perhaps it will
end up being a second front against
illegal aliens. When it comes to those
kinds of aliens a wall could be out of
the question.
        Anyhow, hope they get it flying
and that all your NEWS is good!

(You can hear the Rocket Ranger Theme
on YouTube)

Sunday, June 17, 2018


  MONDAY, JUNE 18TH., 2018
         FLOWER POWER!

    Saturday proved a perfect day for
a top down drive.
    We stopped by a Bar-B-Q place
in Hamlin from some chicken and
corn then decided to take the long
way back home.
     That route took us to Newfoundland
in Wayne County where, it seems, there's
always something interesting to be found.
      On Saturday that "interesting" thing
turned out to be a Garden Center.
       My wife had remembered seeing
the place a few years back when she
spun wool on her wheel for the annual
GDS Fair. She saw it but never stopped.
This time we did.
        My wife loves flowers and this
place had about every variety you could
think of. I like flowers too although I
usually favor Dandelions which grow
without any effort I my part.
         I saw several SUV's parked in the
lot. It quickly became clear they were
driven by husbands who were following
their wives around as they scouted the
grounds and the store for all kinds of
hanging baskets, potted plants, and
lawn ornaments.
        One gentleman told me the back
seat of his vehicle was packed with
"things" is wife bought in Scranton.
That left the entire rear storage area
for the flowers and plants she and a
store clerk carried out to the car!
         My wife picked out a potted
plant and I thanked my lucky stars
I was driving the Miata! The flower
just fit in the trunk. As long as it
didn't grow while we traveled we'd
be safe!
          We'll have to use a different
road or a bigger car next time we're
in the area.
          Hope you stop to smell (if
not buy) the roses and that all your
NEWS is good!


Saturday, June 16, 2018


     SUNDAY, JUNE 17TH., 2018
        WHAT'S IN A NAME?

  I'm not sure just how old I was when I
found out my Dad had a different first
name than the one I was used to hearing.
  Most people called him "Tony." That
seemed logical since it was a common
nickname for somebody named Anthony.
   Except, as it turns out, my Dad's name
wasn't Anthony. Well, not exactly.
   He always signed his name Anthony B.
DeCosmo. The "B" stood for Biagio, his
"given" first name.
   Dad much preferred "Tony."
   He had a great and, in some ways, an
exciting life.
    His father passed away when my Dad
was young so he went to work very early
in life. First as a Breaker Boy where, the
story goes, he got into trouble for trying
to organize the other children workers.
    Eventually he found his way into a
movie theater and learned how to be a
projectionist. In fact he showed the
first Sound Movie (The Jazz Singer)
in Hazleton!
    It's an occupation he followed for
most, but not all, of his life.
    He was Chief Projectionist at the
Capitol Theater in Hazleton all the years
I was growing up. But the movie business
was beginning to lose audiences to
television (ironically the media that
became my profession for most of my
    Seeing the writing on the wall or,
perhaps the screen, Dad used to take a
leave of absence for a few weeks each
year and would go to work in New York
City running spotlight in the old Madison
Square Garden for Ringling Brothers
Circus and Ice Capades.
     When the Capitol finally closed in
1963 he put his New York connections
to good use and started touring the
Country and Canada as a Stage Hand with
professional road companies.
     He worked with some big stars like
Jackie Gleason, Howard Keel, and Hume
Cronym to name a few. Cronym said in
all his years in Show Business the only
man he knew who never missed a cue was
Tony DeCosmo!
    Dad always had a smile on his face and
truly enjoyed life. He worked on Broadway
with Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme.
    When they played the Kirby Center he
had hoped to see them again. I had even
sent a note backstage on his behalf. When
they took off without a meeting, Dad simply
said....."Too bad. It's their loss!" He was
right! It was their loss!
     Eventually Dad found himself back in
our hometown in a "new "movie theater.
He worked it when it had a single screen.
He worked it when they split it into a two
screen theater. He even worked it after
they turned it into a five screen theater.
 At least for awhile.
     Well into his 80's Dad finally decided
it was time for others to haul the film cans
and splice the shows together. Jack Palance
was with him his final night in the
Projection Booth. They were interviewed
for TV and Dad did most of the talking!
     He passed on a year later, enjoying and
loving family, friends, rides, vacations, and
a good cigar right on up till the end!
     He left us with a treasure of love and
memories that keep him alive in our hearts
every single day!
      I know I, my son, and daughters always glance
back up towards the Projection Booth when
we go to the movies. There's always the
feeling that he's right there with us, probably
trying to make sure the scene is in focus and
the sound is turned up!
      His birth certificate read "Biagio." He
signed his name "Anthony." Most people
just called him "Tony." I was lucky. I got
to call him Dad!
       Hope your memories are wonderful
too and that all your NEWS is good!