Friday, March 6, 2015
     
Seventeen-year-old tackle Bruce Frassinelli strikes a pose during Summit Hill High's football season in 1956.

Football saved my life.

At a time when many parents are evaluating whether the health risks of playing football are worth the societal rewards, I reflect on the fateful decision I made 60 years ago to go out for football in my junior year of high school.

I have my band director, Tom Cadden, to thank for making this happen. I put enormous pressure on Cadden to rescind his rule that those who played in the high school band could not be part of the football team, too.

By BOB URBAN rurban@tnonline.com Memorial Day. It's my favorite holiday weekend of the year. Everybody feels patriotic. The weather has finally warmed up. School's almost out and summer has unofficially begun. Enjoy it everyone. It only comes around...
Here's some mind twisters to help you keep aging gray cells active on a spring Saturday. Don't peek at the answers below until you're finished taking the quiz. 1. Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child...
By BRUCE FRASSINELLI tneditor@tnonline.com (Editor's Note: Bob Urban, whose column normally runs in this space, is out looking for a Mother's Day gift for his wife, Mary. Substituting today is Bruce Frassinelli, a Summt Hill native and life-long...
By JIM ZBICK jzbick@tnonline.com Although there was no 24/7 news coverage and no social media outlets for people to offer their personal commentary, the 1912 presidential election offered some cutting edge technology for its day. The race featured a...
By jim zbick jzbick@tnonline.com In depressed times, sports can be a good tonic for lifting the spirits of a community. A good example is in Detroit where the baseball Tigers have been able to lift the morale of a city devastated by the collapse of...
By jim zbick jzbick@tnonline.com Tourism is the second leading industry in Pennsylvania, which is the fourth most visited state in the nation. Groups and officials have long used the natural beauty of our surroundings to promote the area. In an...
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Dear Dr. Smith, Our daughter is going steady with a young man. They are both juniors in college, get good grades, and plan to spend the rest of their life together. My husband and I have a few concerns about the relationship. Some of the concerns...
A dear childhood friend of mine reminded me of all the fun we used to have together. We were blessed with a childhood that was full of exciting playtimes, imaginative experiences and creative games. Looking back on those days, it is obvious that our...
Football saved my life. At a time when many parents are evaluating whether the health risks of playing football are worth the societal rewards, I reflect on the fateful decision I made 60 years ago to go out for football in my junior year of high...
As my wife, Marie, and I were cruising down the superhighway of a picture-perfect retirement, our lives slammed into a brick wall and were turned upside down and inside out. It was Valentine's Day 2012 a day synonymous with romance, flowers and an...
When you have three-quarters of a century in the book of life, it's not unusual to survey those 75 years for some improbable, zany moments where you slap the side of your head. You don't necessarily proclaim: "I should have had a V-8," but you smile...
I came across an interesting story on a website called "Epoch Times"(www.theepochtimes.com) in a section devoted to "Beyond Science: Archaeology" with regard to an apocryphal precious metal called orichalcum.
This past Monday we observed Presidents Day, which is a federal holiday and observed as a state holiday in Pennsylvania as well, but the actual holiday means different things depending upon which state you live in. I do not want to get ahead of...
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Sometimes I think retirement should be illegal. It forces us say goodbye to people who've become family to us. Like everyone else, I've grown to know Linda Koehler through her interesting news stories, fascinating features and hilarious columns. Oh...
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By PATTIE MIHALIK newsgirlcomcast.net A while back Robert Fulghum wrote a little essay that packed a big wallop round the world. He called it, "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten." Some of what he wrote: "All I really know about how...
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Last week I had the opportunity to cover an event that sent me back to my past. The assignment was in Lansford, in the home of Chester Trojan. I climbed the stairs up to his residence with a camera crew from TV-13, as well as the Carbon County...
By JARRAD HEDES jmhedes@tnonline.com There are times you can embellish, or just flat-out lie, and get away with it. People almost expect it out of you from time to time. Go to any kind of reunion where one person hasn't seen another for a long...

Claire:

Once upon a time, watching television was for Philistines. The uncultured masses would tune in to watch the latest sitcom every night, blissfully ignorant, while the intellectuals would sit in their ivory towers reading books, or at the very least saving their money for a subscription to a network like HBO or Showtime, where all the "artsy" television supposedly dwelled.

That's how the joke goes, anyway. These days, though, a few shows have me questioning the old adage that television is just for dummies and couch potatoes.

Jim:

Our most faithful fan does not live in Lehighton or Jim Thorpe or Tamaqua, or anywhere in the hard coal region.

No, he lives on the other side of the world. Dan Bloom is a freelance writer and ex-patriot, who resides in Taiwan where, he says, he is "buffeted around by Pacific typhoons every summer." Maybe that's why he worries a lot about climate change.

Jim:

There's an old saying: "They treat me like a mushroom. They keep me in the dark and feed me B.S." I know I'm a mushroom and hope that, at least, I may be a Portobello.

First off, there's the cosmic mystery. Where did the universe come from? If it's expanding, what is it expanding into? These questions give me butterflies in my stomach. I try hard never to think about them. I have butterflies right now. Let's change the subject.

Claire:

Writing down one's dirty secrets and posting them all over the web is de rigueur these days. It's hardly edgy or shocking to read the intimate details of a person's sex life, mental issues, or weight problems.

Heck, not too long ago a woman live-tweeted her miscarriage yup, that means she was writing about it on the Internet literally while it was happening.

JIM:

So Bradley Manning wants to be called Chelsea. I wonder how Chelsea Clinton feels about that.

Fort Leavenworth prison officials say he'll get no hormones and no surgery. Manning's lawyer calls this cruel and unusual punishment and vows to sue.

Advocates of transgender convicts claim (per recent news reports), "Self-castration, suicide and waves of desperation are byproducts of the denial of sex hormones to inmates yearning to switch genders." Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it?

Due to the wonders of technology, we live in a society that loves to take photographs, and takes plenty of them.

We are the most photographed generation ever.

Whether it is cellphone "selfies" or images captured on a tablet, a point and shoot or a DSLR, everyone has become a "photographer."

People have acquired hundreds, if not thousands of images and store them on their phones, computers or even in "the cloud" and enjoy the ease of sharing those images with their friends and even the world through the various forms of socialmedia.

From the very first moment you behold the precious miracle that is your newborn child, there's a chain that instantly connects from your heart to that child.

You marvel in their beauty and perfection and you wonder how something so magnificent could have come from inside you.

The love you feel for that tiny life is so strong that it makes you weep with joy and pride.

As they grow, they become the thread that holds you together and the reason you get up in the morning (and multiple times throughout the night.)

When they smile, you beam.

As a young, single mother, I prided myself in being able to "do it all."

I could multitask like it was nobody's business.

My "Spidey-sense" was top-notch and I could chase after small children with the speed of "The Flash" and the fluidity and stealth of a Ninja.

But that was then, and this is now.

After a busy day at work and more work screaming for my attention at home, I decided to make the one-hour trip down to see my daughter and granddaughter, as I was missing her so.

Being a writer and a photographer, I find myself constantly making a statement of some sort in one fashion or another.

I recently saw a great sweatshirt online that pretty much sums up my life's statement and one that I absolutely have to buy.

The writing on the front says:

Six things you don't mess with:

My faith, My family, My flag, My country, My liberty, My camera.

The first thing I thought was that I would need to change it to make it be seven things and add My dog; but then I figured that he is, in effect, family, so the six will work just fine.

I read a story today that really ticked me off.

The headline read "Kentucky school teacher caught dragging 6-year-old along school floor is fired and rehired again."

At first glance, one might be tempted to be angry with the teacher.

In fact, many are rather enraged about it.

Along with the online article was a video that very clearly showed the incident.

According to the story, which occurred Oct. 29, 2014, the child had become disruptive in the classroom and was threatening other students.