Thursday, July 24, 2014
     

Columns

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"You come from nothing, you are going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing! Cheer up you old bugger."

Those are lines from an old Monty Python song, "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" which in its essence tells us that we can trudge through life and be annoyed and pity ourselves or we can recognize that life is not something to be taken seriously. Instead we should enjoy life because it is fleeting and one day we will be at the end and contemplating what we did with our lives.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

With all the natural beauty it has to offer, this area has always served as a magnet for travellers, and it's especially popular with the two-wheeled vehicles.

A century ago, the motorcycle, no longer considered a luxury toy enjoyed only by the more affluent, was becoming more affordable to the average citizen. It was part of the new wave of transportation – including airplanes and automobiles – that spun out of the first decade of the new century. Groups like the Reading Motorcycle Club formed, giving bike riders an opportunity to bond with others.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The 2010 U. S. Census likely will show that Pennsylvania has over two million more people than it did in 1950.

But you'd never know it by the attendance at public events.

Church festivals and civic celebrations don't draw the crowds they once did. In the 1950s, special events were packed. But that's not the case today.

The trend is seen nationally, too.

According to the folks at NASCAR, attendance has dropped in 14 of the first 19 races of the season. NASCAR figures to sell one million fewer tickets this year than in 2003.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Do you remember when church picnics were the highlight of our summers?

Boy. They were the cherries on top of the ice cream Sundaes of school summer vacations.

I know many churches in our area had them and some still continue the tradition. For me, it was St. Matthew's church picnics in Kunkletown.

Back when I was a kid, our church was a combination of a Reformed and a Lutheran Church. We had two picnics. Twice the fun!

They were held in our picnic grove filled with huge tall shady trees and lots of room to run. It was a kid's paradise.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm sitting on the creaky, wooden, 1940s-era office chair in the home office of our old farmhouse. The small room holds two vintage wooden desks, one at each window; a battered old metal filing cabinet, painted a utilitarian brown, squats in the corner between them.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A lot of old hit songs have glamorized suicide.

"Patches" by Dickie Lee was a tale of a rich boy and poor girl who wanted to get married, but the boy's parents wouldn't allow it. The girl killed herself. The boy said, "It may not be right, but I'll join you tonight."

In "Running Bear," both Running Bear and Little White Dove jumped into the "swirling stream" where "the raging river pulled them down."

In reality, suicide isn't glamourous. It's not the beautiful finale to a touching story, but a woeful end that leaves behind real broken hearts and shattered lives.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One does not need to look far to know how messed up the priorities of our leaders are in this desperate, sluggish economy. I have to wonder where Gov. Ed Rendell's brain checked out this week. The man is the consummate politician I will give him that, but he is also the poster child for how disgustingly irresponsible many of our leaders can be.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

While the sound of chirping birds may be pleasing to many people, it can often become a much more sinister song for farmers. Just by their sheer numbers, birds can turn into nuisances, perhaps not as menacing as Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 terror-filled movie classic, "The Birds," but certainly they can spell destruction to fruit and crop fields.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We all live by laws and regulations. Most are written, and we either conform to them, or find ourselves in troupble.

But there are also universal laws, those which are not written but which emerge in our everyday lives.

Let me demonstrate:

1.Law of Mechanical Repair-After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to go to the bathroom.

2.Law of Gravity-Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The door opens and in walks a man with the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the head of Albert Einstein.

"Hello, Dr. Hassenpfeffer," I say.

"Good morning, Lindka. Vhat seems to be ze problem?" he asks.

"Vell, I mean well, I think I might have Alzheimer's. I seem to be awful forgetful."

"Hmmmmm. Vhy don't you lie down on dis nice comfortable couch and tell me vhen you started to notice dis forgetfulness."