Monday, November 19, 2018


    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH., 2018

   As those of you who saw my Facebook
photo album already know my wife and I
took two of our grandsons to the Lancaster
area Sunday to see Thomas The Tank Engine
in person!
    We've visited the specific location, the
Strasburg Railroad, in the past but it has
been several years so I immediately
punched the attraction into my Garmin GPS
unit. The first couple steps took me to the
Pennsylvania Turnpike so I figured, given
the 70mph speed limit, it would be a pretty
quick trip. The projected arrival time was
about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
     The route took me from the Allentown
area to the Reading area. then to the
Lancaster area. Heavy traffic all the way.
Sort of like NASCAR with right and left
turns and exits!
       Having been there before but not
recalling the congestion I really wanted
to find a better way home. Since Wilkes-
Barre is not on Thomas' line rail service
was out!
       I decided to do something drastic.
I pulled out a Pennsylvania Map! A new
one we just happen to pick up at a rest
stop on Saturday. A quick glance
quickly reminded me that Route 501
goes straight north out of Lancaster to
Pine Grove in Schuylkill County where
it offers an easy on ramp to Interstate
        My choice took us through a few small
towns and rural areas where 70mph was
out of the question. And yet, the trip home
took just a little over the same time it took
to get there without having to fight heavy
        Hope you keep a map handy, look
at it from time to time, and that all your
NEWS is good!

Saturday, November 17, 2018


                HI YO SILVER!

     The Holy Redeemer Girl's Volleyball
team played for the State Championship
in Mechanicsburg on Saturday but lost
three very hard fought sets to a great
team from Bald Eagle High School in
Centre County. The Lady Royals
certainly gave their opponents a run for
their money!
      Of course the season that got the
Lady Royals to that game was nothing
short of tremendous and netted the team
a number 1 ranking in the State Coach's
       Getting to that final game also
produced the Runner Up Trophy to the
team and Silver medals for all the
players! Second place the state is pretty
darn good!
       So what do you do after playing
in a State Championship and getting
silver medals? Well, if you're the
Lady Royals you drive all the way
back to Wyoming Valley, get your
hair and makeup done, put on your
gown, meet your date and go to a
        You see besides thinking about
playing the biggest game of the year
these young ladies were also thinking
about their annual Semi Formal Dance!
Talk about pressure!
          So, a "well done" to all the Lady
Royals (including our granddaughter
Jenna) for representing yourselves,
your school, and our community so
very, very well!
         Hope you enjoyed your season,
your silver, and your dance! Hope all
your NEWS is good!


Friday, November 16, 2018



   This probably seems like a slam dunk to
most of you! From the weekend before
Thanksgiving till the holiday itself people
throughout the country will be waiting at
curbside to watch the parade pass them by.
It's the one time when that's OK.
     Marching bands, colorful floats, and, in
some cases, huge balloons will welcome
the Holiday season. And most of those
parades are either named for or feature
the "big guy from the North Pole!"
      Santa will be in both Wilkes-Barre
and Scranton today and probably in a lot
of other towns and cities too.
      The "Thanksgiving" or "Santa Parades"
have been around for many years. They're
so expected that I was a bit surprised to
find that the 72nd annual "Mother Goose
Parade" will be taking place in the San
Diego area of California.
       Now to be clear, Santa will show up
there too. But the theme remains "Mother
Goose."  I realize she's been around pretty
much as long as Santa but, personally, I'd
hate to give him second billing a month
before he comes back bearing gifts!
        Mother Goose has some great  stories
but I think Saint Nick would still be the
star of my parade!
         Hope you enjoy a parade this week
whatever it's called and that all your NEWS
is good!

Thursday, November 15, 2018


               BUTTON UP!

    Today's title has nothing to do with
the winter storm that hit Thursday, though
the suggestion to "button up" would be
in order. Nor is it an admonition to keep
quiet. I picked it as a salute to "National
Button Day." That's today!
     Years ago many or our Moms or
Grandmas collected buttons. The
tradition continues at our house where
my wife seems to have an infinite
supply. I wouldn't usually give it a
second thought/ But the other day when
I noticed one small  white button missing
from one of my dress shirts and happen to
mention it my wife immediately went
into her stash and came up with a match!
You can just never tell when you're going
to need a button.
        You may recall a game we used to
play as kids before electronic games
came into their own. Buttony Button.
You'd get a bunch of kids standing in
a circle with one holding a small
button. You'd pass it from one person
to the next. But someone might fake
the pass (and you usually passed behind
your back). Then everybody would
guess who actually had the button in
their hand. Simple game for simpler
          If you're snowed in and the
power goes out at least you'll have a
game to play. Of course if you don't
have a button collection you may have
to borrow one of Dad's shirts!
           Hope you enjoy this unusual
"holiday" and that all your NEWS is

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


              A NOSTALGIC RIDE.

       I found myself taking a nostalgic ride
Wednesday afternoon. Unlike previous
adventures this trip was not in my little
red sportscar but, rather, on an escalator
in Boscov's Department store in Scranton!
       As I rode the moving staircase from
first floor to second the sight of shoppers
amid the merchandise and wonderfully
colored Christmas decorations carried me
back to my home town around the same
time of the season many years ago.
      Most communities of any substantial
size had at least one downtown Department
store. We had several in Hazleton. The
Leader was always my favorite as Department
stores went. Now, admittedly, I was probably
a lot more anxious to stop at American Auto
or Jerry Woodring's Hardware Store to pick up the
newest Lionel Train Catalog or see the actual
train displays that were always set up around
        But the Leader store offered both mystery
and adventure. It had an escalator. The first, as
far as I know, in our city.
         Each floor offered the excitement of
seeing new merchandise as you made your
way to the top. That's where the kept their
Top Department. And that's where Santa
waited for the kids to either share their wish
list or scream as well meaning parents forced
them onto his lap for a photo op! I don't
remember ever having to be forced to give
anyone my Christmas list! I still offer it
willingly to anyone who asks.
           There's something very special, in my
mind at least, about a downtown Department
store at Christmas time. That being said I'd
often stop in the Leader at any time of the
year just to ride the escalator!  I guess in
"my day" it was our "X-Box!" Things were
a lot simpler then, not to mention less
           Think I'll stop by Boscov's again
next week and just go up and down the
escalators a few times for old times sake.
            Hope they keep running for many
years to come and that all your NEWS is

Tuesday, November 13, 2018



     The Holy Redeemer Girl's Volleyball Team is
going to the State 2-A District Championship game
in Mechanicsburg this Saturday! The Lady Royals
defeated a very good Delong Catholic team in
Reading Tuesday evening. They'll face Bald Eagle
for the State title!
      But, what will they wear?
      Throughout the season the girl's have worn
the traditional Holy Redeemer red uniforms. But
here's the thing. The school's annual Semi Dance
is scheduled for Saturday evening in Wilkes-Barre!
       The State Championship game is scheduled
for 1pm in, again, Mechanicsburg!
        For those who don't already know these two
cities are a couple hours apart. And that's a couple
hours if you're all set to go in your car! Not in your
School Bus!
        Then there's the matter of playing the games
(at least three), and getting back in time to meet
their dates for the big dance! I'm told the young
ladies sometimes like to get their hair done too!
         I'm wondering if regulations require the
girls to wear their uniforms? On second thought
those fancy gowns probably wouldn't work on
the Volleyball court anyway.
        Oh well.
        Hope they win the games, get back in time
to change, and have a wonderful time so that all
their NEWS is good!

Monday, November 12, 2018


                     HE'S BACK!

    My wife and I took two of our grandkids
to the Wyoming Valley Mall Monday. I
knew the folks there would be getting
ready for Christmas but I was a bit surprised
at just how ready!
     Holiday decorations are everywhere
and Chris carols are already being piped
through the public address system. You
almost won't notice that Sears and the Bon
Ton are closed
       As far as I knew Santa was to make a
personal appearance in the area as the
highlight of several upcoming Thanksgiving
holiday parades, but he's already here!
       My grandson and I waved at the big
guy as we walked by an elaborate North
Pole set up in the middle of the mall. And
I think I now know why you never actually
get to see him on Christmas Eve.
        He's charging to have his picture
taken with the kids! If you could get his
photo Christmas Eve you wouldn't need
to buy one now. Guess that's how he pays
for a lot of those toys he brings in that
big sack!
        My list is a little long this year so
I hope a lot of people buy those photos!
I also hope all your NEWS is good!