Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guest Columnists

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.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Imagine this.

A runaway train is hurtling down the track. If it is not stopped, it will kill five people who are tied down to the track just ahead. You can save the five people and stop the train by pushing a man standing next to you onto the track. You have two choices only. Do nothing and the train kills the five people. Push the man to his death and you stop the train, but that makes you a murderer.

Many say they would push the man. It's a simple matter of math and the murder is justified. Sacrifice one to save five. Now let's change the scenario a bit.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

One of my recent college students turned in an opinion paper where she had intended to say, "From the get go, it was obvious that the speaker was going to tell it like it is with no holds barred."

What she wrote, however, was, "From the gekko, it was obvious …"

I commented on her paper that the tiny animal that's the central figure in the Geico insurance commercials has nothing to do with that phrase.

Saturday, February 28, 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.

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Special to the Times News Bruce and Marie Frassinelli.

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 intimate dinner. Marie had had a CT scan earlier in the day. She had not been feeling well for about a month. She was bloated and had pain. She had a history of irritable bowel, so her doctor had prescribed several different medications, but nothing worked, so he ordered the CT scan.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

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 in embarrassment and marvel about the unlikelihood of the adventure.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My wife, Marie, a native of New Columbus, was talking on the phone to her 47-year-old son (my stepson) and asking him when he was going to have supper and what was on the menu.

She underscored her concern over the number of hours he was working and whether he was getting enough sleep. "Make sure you go to bed early tonight," she instructed.

Until recently, each school day our granddaughter and grandson, both 16, got off the school bus right in front of our home. Marie had to be at the front door to eyeball their leaving the bus and walking the 10 yards to our door.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

With the overriding concerns about bullying in our schools in recent years, it is time for me to 'fess up to being a schoolyard bully when I was a kid.

Quite frankly, if someone today did what I had done, he would probably be expelled from school, possibly even charged with assault and harassment. But this is now, and that was then. Despite what you are about to read, none of my victims ever reported me to the teacher or other school authorities, nor, to the best of my knowledge, did they ever rat on me to their parents.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

On a recent trip, my son, Paul, and I had just finished one of several of our long philosophical discussions when he turned to me and said, ``You know, Dad, for an old guy, you're pretty cool."

I was startled, because I stopped worrying about coolness a long, long time ago. Isn't it curious, though, I thought, many terms and phrases have come and gone in the intervening 55 years since I was a cocky teenager, but "cool" still has the same general slang connotation today as it had then, although the essence of coolness is much different.