Thursday, December 8, 2016


Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

I strongly disagree with that childhood stanza.

Words are powerful, and there are some that are more powerful than others.

Love. I love you. That word can make you feel special and warm, or it could make you want to head for the hills.

Hate. I hate you. That word can crush you, or it could make you realize, as a parent, you just might be doing something right.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A long while back, one of the best selling records (remember records?) was "Little Things Mean a Lot."

Decades later, as I savor each day of life, I realize how rewarding life is because of "little things."

It's often the small comforts we take for granted that we miss the most when we don't have them.

Go away on vacation for any length of time and you'll probably start missing the feel of your own bed. A comfortable bed is just one of life's small comforts.

I started thinking about other small comforts that add up to a pleasurable life. These are some of mine.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"There's more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" is a quote from Hamlet in a conversation with Horatio in which he relates just seeing his father's ghost. I think it is a fitting way to begin this column just two days prior to Halloween, the night the veil between man and spirit is at its thinnest if you believe the Celtic people and ancient traditions.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

By jim zbick

Participation in Tamaqua's Halloween parade in 1911 was quite simple. The only requirement was to wear a mask.

Hundreds of mummers took part in the unofficial procession.

"Many fantastic and original costumes were on display on Broad Street and there was a good deal of good-natured jostling and pushing in the crowds, lots of weird and ear-splitting noise producers in use, but it was all orderly and respectable with no evidence of rowdyism," the Tamaqua Courier reported.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Swami Bhaktipada, the ex-Hari Krishna leader died this week in India. Many area residents remember the 1980s when the Swami and his followers attempted to purchase Flagstaff Mountian to build a sprawling golden paradise.

How different would Jim Thorpe be today had that deal gone through?

I can still remember the anger of residents who opposed the proposed sale. Remember the "Swami Busters" T-shirts? They were a hot item back then.

The Steelers host the Patriots Sunday at 4:15. It doesn't get much better than that in the NFL.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Antaeus was a Libyan giant, who demanded that every stranger who crossed his boundaries wrestle with him. He bested them all, killed them, and used their skulls to roof the house of his father, Poseidon. (I'll bet that roof leaked. Then again, I guess it was already under water.)

Hercules figured out that Antaenius drew his strength from the earth. Once he knew that, whipping Gadhaffi's mythical predecessor was easy. Hercules hoisted Antaeus off the ground, causing the old boy's strength to drain away.

Just call me Antaenius.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are making a mockery of our system. They want to end capitalism and get rid of evil corporations. They also want to wipe out the entrepreneurs who create jobs. In doing so, these protesters are as dumb as the Bolsheviks who toppled capitalism in Russia. The Bolsheviks doomed themselves and their children to decades of starvation. The revolution did such a good job of destroying farms and industry that the Russians had to use their army to steal food from another country!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


"Yeah, but now I'm gettin' old, don't wear underwear,

I don't go to church, and I don't cut my hair."

- Jimmy Buffett,Pencil-Thin Mustache

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My heart is aching this week and no matter how much I change activities, I feel dispirited.

I'm hurting for one of my favorite friends. To protect her privacy, I'll call her Fern.

At 71, Fern is losing her house, joining the multitudes of homeowners who can no longer pay their mortgage. Living on social security and savings that have just about disappeared, her money won't stretch enough to pay her ongoing expenses.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I wish I had more time to do investigative reporting. I've been a reporter more than 40 years and I've done investigative reporting for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the past.

There are a few topics I'd like to spend time investigating. Here are some examples:

Ÿ The number of sheriff sales and foreclosures is increasing. In some cases, it's because banks were careless in lending practices and approved mortgages out of line with incomes.