Thursday, October 20, 2016


Monday, September 19, 2016
Press photos by Carole GorneyAt home in Bethlehem, Nancy Kembel displays the framed photos of her 1972 meeting with Mother Teresa in Philadelphia.

There are very few people who have ever been able to say they kissed a real saint, but retired Bethlehem teacher Nancy Kembel is someone who can. Forty-four years ago she kissed Mother Teresa of Calcutta on the cheek, then called the world-famous missionary “a living saint in our midst.”

How right Kembel was. On Sept. 4, just 19 years after her death, Mother Teresa was officially canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Mr. and Mrs. Shawn McArdle

Jillian Marie Castaldi and Shawn Patrick McArdle were united in marriage May 28, 2016, at Divine Mercy Parish in Scranton. The Rev. Francis Pauselli officiated the ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Martin and Renee Castaldi of Scranton. Given in marriage by her father, she chose Sarah Castaldi as her maid of honor. Bridesmaids included Gina McArdle, Jennifer Cory Amanda Botscheller, Maria Kidron and Molly McDonough.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Several weeks from now is Veterans Day.

I’ve always thought we should think about and honor veterans often, instead of waiting for one specific day.

We owe them too much to wait a full year to pay respects. We ought to do it regularly.

I recently had a chance to visit a sprawling display of WWII-era bombers at Hazleton Municipal Airport.

The war machines were supposed to be the star of the show — and they did stand out. Their size is surprising.

Bombers are much larger in person than they appear in photos or old film footage.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My friend Dominic is a fun-loving, outgoing guy with a strong sense of family values. He grew up in a close Italian household where ‘family’ was sacred and everyone was willing to do anything for family — even when it required a great sacrifice to do it.

I met Dom and his wife, Kathie, when their band was performing in area clubs.

Every time they played, I noticed there was always a table up front where “the moms” sat. He introduced them as his mother, Teresa; his wife’s mother, Dorothy; and his “third mom” Ginger.

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Marta Gouger blowing bubbles with granddaughter Addilyn. COURTESY PHOTO

When I was dating after my first husband died, I hit a rough spot.

My younger brother Mark happened to call on a Friday night while I was sitting on my deck having ice cream for supper and reading a Stephen King novel.

I cried about my misfortune and he said, “Five years from now will this really matter?”

At that point I thought it would.

But of course it didn’t.

I reconnected with my former neighbor Ronnie and we were married 17 years ago today.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

“Jinx. Double Jinx. Triple Jinx. Buy me a Coke.”

This familiar chant has recently entered the kids’ lexicon and now it’s driving us all crazy.

The first time they tried it out on me, I handily beat them by quadrupling their Jinx and then adding an infinity Jinx. As Jinx novices, they actually observed the “no talking rule” for about 10 minutes and it was bliss! They spent the next few days following me around trying to make me say predictable things so that they could work the Jinx magic on me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ramona Carver of Kunkletown and Meredith Sellix of Lehighton graduated with 40 other classmates from Marywood University as a part of the physician assistant program.

The graduates were welcomed by the president of Marywood University Sister Mary Persico.

Physician assistant pins and certificates were awarded to the graduates as a symbol of their hard work, dedication and determination.

The graduation concluded with students reciting the physician assistant oath.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

The “Wings of Freedom Tour” has two goals: to honor the sacrifices made by our veterans that allow us to enjoy our freedom; and to educate the visitors, especially younger Americans, about our national history and heritage.

The foundation encourages people to tour the planes and talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft. Celebrating 26 years, the tour has made more than 3,000 visits to airports across the United States and Alaska.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Every morning, after his owners leave for work, Rusty the terrier makes a four-block commute of his own. He carries a ball. He will not be distracted, not by sleepy-eyed cats, heading home from their nightly forays, and not by fresh rabbit tracks visible in the dewy grass. No one will call out to him, for he has bitten, or tried to bite, nearly everyone in the neighborhood.

Friday, September 16, 2016
“Wheelman” has a mountain biking wheel and holds a coal auger, making him a real mountain man.

he landscape surrounding Hill Home Forge in Jim Thorpe, home of master gardener Eileen East, blooms not only with colorful flowers and vegetables, it is a showcase for a vibrant display of whimsical sculptures created by her artist husband, Nic.

Also known as the “Iron Man,” East designs and welds his unique sculptures in his garage using pieces of scrap metal.

Feast your eyes on this fantastical space.