Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Saturday, December 19, 2015

This is the time of year when one question is prevalent: What do you want for Christmas?

I know there are plenty of people in this world who can come up with perfect gift ideas without asking.

I’m not one of them.

Once my daughters no longer went through the Sears Wish Book to show me what they liked, I don’t know if I was ever good at gift giving. I do know that for me it gets harder every year.

My dear friend Linda once commented that if you love someone and live with them every day, you should be able to come up with some gift ideas.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

“You paint a rosy picture about how friendly people are. I do join church and community activities, but what I find time and again is that people are caught up in their own lives. They don’t take time to be friendly with others,” she wrote.

If I’ve given the impression I think people are basically friendly, that’s because I believe they are. I find proof of that every day.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It’s a mild October evening in 2014, and I’m sitting on a wooden bench at Rosemount campgrounds in the Lewistown Valley, tapping my feet as I listen to the Good Times Variety Band.

True to its name, the band plays a variety of songs, from sweet ballads to lively polkas.

The drummer, Bonnie DeAngelo, sets the beat that pulls people, from toddlers to octogenarians, to their feet to dance.

She moves smoothly from the hard, fast rhythm of an exuberant polka to the soft, easy tempo of a love song, her perfectly pitched voice mesmerizing the crowd.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scrooge here.

Bah. Humbug.

Just thought you’d like to know there are only 26 more shopping days until Christmas.

I wanted to touch base with all you Happy Shoppers. I want to know what you’re drinking.

If anyone would have ever told me that there would come a day I would dread Christmas shopping, I would have said your Christmas bulbs weren’t screwed in tight.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

When my young grandchildren were asked to say grace while I was visiting, their idea of giving thanks consisted of seven hurried words: Thank you God for our food, amen.

I think each child had a contest to see who could say it the fastest.

I really hoped for more, at least at Thanksgiving, but I understood.

I understood that gratitude is something that grows with age. I also understood that most youngsters fail to appreciate the basic good things in their life because it’s not something they think about.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Years ago I had a conversation with a heroin addict that I will never forget.

It happened when I was at a drug rehab facility in Wind Gap doing an in-depth story on heroin addiction.

The facilitator of a group meeting asked participants if I could listen, provided I promised not to put any real names in the newspaper. They were willing and candid throughout the session.

But after I sat listening to their stories for a while, one young man turned to me and asked if I was addicted.

“Not to a drug,” I told him. “Just to food.”

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The photogenic scenes of the fall season are upon us.

For many of us, fall represents a beautiful time of year, perhaps the most serene from an aesthetic point of view.

There is just so much to see, and so much to do, that it seems as though there is never a dull moment.

Take, for example, the Tamaqua Historical Society, which on Sunday will present its 31st Annual Tamaqua Heritage Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Tamaqua.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


When I was a kid, I lived for summer. Couldn't get enough of those warm, languid days filled with fun in the sun.

Now that I'm a big kid, nothing has changed. I still wait with great anticipation for the sultry, summer days I love.

I still lap up every delicious moment of summer, wishing it would last all year.

I like the fact that I live in Florida where we have a joke about our four seasons: Feels like Summer, Almost Summer, Steamy Summer and Still Summer.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A bride of two weeks sends a group email thanking all who attended her wedding and for giving her and her new husband gifts that averaged $200 each. A high school student flips a "thanks a lot" to her teacher who just wrote her a two-page letter of recommendation. Then she scoots down the hall to another teacher to get another letter. A graduating college student thanks no one for her monetary gifts and sends no notes, but when her guests leave her party, her mother says, "Thanks for coming."

To the bride, to the student, and to the graduate, I say, thanks for nothing.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The year is 1945. We lived at 202 E. Hazard St., Summit Hill: At age 6, I quietly picked up our home phone and listened to the party-line conversation between my teenage neighbor and her boyfriend.

When she made some gooey, sappy and lovesick comment to him, I couldn't help myself and stifled a laugh.

"Bruce, GET OFF THE PHONE!!!" she ordered. "Yeah, you little creep," the boyfriend chimed in, "Get off the phone."

I did. Obviously, this was not the first time I had listened in. In retrospect, I believe this was my introduction into sex education.