Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Saturday, November 2, 2013


Role model, devoted father, hero.

These were only a few of the words used to describe Lt. Dave Midas when I scrolled through my Facebook feed last weekend.

As each friend posted about the 33-year-old Panther Valley alum, who took his own life unexpectedly in a scene that sounded like it had been scripted for a movie, I couldn't help but remember the man I knew through my work here at the TIMES NEWS.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Our emotions are raw after the area was rocked by a high profile suicide last week.

The act was very public and dramatic. It generated questions and confusion.

Sometimes suicide takes that form. Regardless of circumstances, it shocks our senses.

Many of us recall when embattled state treasurer R. Budd Dwyer shot himself on live television on Jan. 22, 1987.

Sometimes suicide is like that, but other times it's private and quiet. It can come without warning.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

We often hear about the importance of staying in the present.

Some call it "living the moment."

We're told the happiest people are those who refuse to be chained by the past or worried about the future. Instead, they live today to the fullest, staying in the moment.

When I read advice like this, I nod my head in agreement, thinking it would be foolish to do otherwise.

I like to think I spend my time living in the moment. But that's not quite true.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bill Graver was a happy fellow when he left the TIMES NEWS office on Friday, Oct. 11.

That morning, he had stopped in to see me; wanting me to do an article about his great-great grandfather who had fathered 33 children.

The great-great-grandfather, Nicholas C. Strohl, had lived in Towamensing Township. He had been married three times. His first two wives, Lydia and Sarah Weiss, were daughters of Charles Weiss, a Revolutionary War hero whose monument stands in the Lehighton and Weissport Parks.

He died on June 21, 1884 at the age of 82.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I see him most days on my ride home from work. He used to be standing on one side of the road, but now he is usually sitting on a step on the other side.

Every time I do see him, however, he is doing the same thing; waving to all of the cars that go by.

At first I didn't wave back because I had no idea who he was and because of that, I thought that he surely couldn't be waving at me.

Nonetheless, every day, he would wave.

His gesture made me smile, and eventually I started waving back.

Now I find myself looking for him, just so I can wave.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

One of the first questions asked of a magician when given an opportunity is how did you learn to perform magic? Since I have been studying magic since I have been old enough to read, my education has been through a variety of sources from the first magic sets I owned to recent DVDs.

Of all the formats and mediums I have studied through the years, I think the best source of my education was books.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; Only this, and nothing more." Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Red, gold and amber leaves ablaze,

Azure blue skies, brilliant displays.

Basking in Old Sun's gilded rays,

Ah Autumn ... you always amaze.

Falling leaves that prances and plays,

Flit about in a polonaise.

A flame-kissed leaf coverlet lays

'Neath near-bare branches of drear grays.

Sunsets that leave me in a daze,

God's heavenly art, He portrays.

Brushstrokes across the world arrays,

October ... a melodic phrase.

Early morn mists begin fall days,

Crisp afternoons ... gourmet buffets.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

For the first time in a few years I took the opportunity to visit the millionaire's playground.

It's the annual fall meet at Hershey that attracts well heeled car collectors from all over the world.

I also visited another one at Carlisle a week earlier. That one was impressive, too. But there's nothing like the one at Chocolate Town, and the real fun is to attend as a spectator. Unless money is no object.

The Hershey car show is a must-do for the top two percent who buy and trade rare automobiles as if they're Tonka toys.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Last month my husband and I headed out West again for our annual two weeks' vacation to South Dakota.

This year was a little different for us. We decided that we would stay a few days in our home away from home in Geddes (just to give our sore and tired butts a rest after driving 1,322 miles) and then we were going to head off to tour the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and all of the other wonderful sites the area has to offer.