Thursday, September 3, 2015
     

Under My Hat

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I waited long for this day. One and one-half years.

Yet it's a day nobody would want.

Here I am standing close to him, nearly within arm's reach.

But a district attorney is positioned between us and five sheriff deputies just a step away.

Convicted killer Anthony Heath is tall and lanky, round-shouldered with poor posture.

I'm surprised to see he's wearing a purple shirt, street clothes. His hands are shackled to his belt.

I glare at him. He looks back at me with vacuous eyes.

There's nothing there.

Saturday, July 25, 2015
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS John Bova, son of a lost miner, kneels to gain leverage as he heaves coal from one bin to another during Lansford No. 9 Mine's coal shoveling competition.

America was built on coal.

When you look at the skyscrapers of New York, think coal.

Coal fired the furnaces to forge steel that built the towering buildings and great bridges.

Coal gave us everything: railroads, jobs, industry, canned food, trolleys, roller coasters. You name it.

Coal was easy and cheap.

But mining was dangerous. It provided various ways to die: cave-ins, explosions, suffocation.

And so coal carries a tremendous legacy, especially for mining descendants.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I'm not the biggest movie fan, but I made sure I was on hand for "Jurassic World" opening-night hoopla.

I was first in line for a ticket. It had to be that way.

Otherwise I would've growled more than a sick stegosaurus.

But keep in mind I didn't want just any ticket. I wanted the best.

"Jurassic World" can be enjoyed a few different ways.

I wanted the top version, what they call 3-D.

Of course, 3-D isn't new.

We had it back in the 1950s and '60s.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

It takes a lot of courage to say the obvious.

"Guilty of first-degree murder with a sentence of life in prison without parole."

The decision of a Lehigh County jury on Tuesday summed up the feelings of many observers over the past 16 months.

The jury made their decision without having the benefit of knowing Anthony Heath's background.

He admitted to a history of alcohol and drugs. But things got worse.

In 2012, he was arrested for repeatedly biting his 1-year-old son.

But that offense was minor compared to Heath's actions on Jan. 31, 2014.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Achoo!

Anybody suffering from allergies knows 2015 is the worst year for symptoms since maybe 2006.

Sneezing, headache, runny nose, postnasal drip, inflamed sinuses and itchy eyes.

Experts said all along the prolonged winter would come back to haunt us with high allergy levels in spring and summer. That's for sure.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says allergies can affect just about everyone.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dear graduates, Karen Carpenter isn't around to give your commencement address.

But if she were, she'd likely say you've only just begun. White lace and promises. A kiss for luck and you're on your way.

And that's a scary thought after having spent 12 years inside a cocoon.

After sitting in classroom chairs lined up like so many dominoes, you're about to step into a world that's not lined up at all.

Be ready for it. And understand a few things.

Don't wait for someone to inspire you. Be your own source of enthusiasm.

Saturday, May 16, 2015
There was a time when cars had style, including tires and hubcaps.

May is a great month because it brings us Mother's Day, Memorial Day and the emergence of those grand old motorcars of days gone by.

That's because May brings warm weather.

Garages are opened and out come the works of art that once graced America's highways.

Yes, if there's one thing I like just as much as 1880s bicycles, it's lead sleds from great days of automotive design.

How can anyone not enjoy those magnificent cars of our youth?

Let's face it, today's cars all look the same.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

About 60 years from now, the last of the Panther Valley Deep Coal Miners will speak to people of a different era.

That's because in 1976, the coal miners buried a time capsule inside the monument wall at Lansford Kennedy Park.

I'm not sure what they put inside, but it'll be revealed in 2076.

I won't be around to find out, so I'll never know what kind of messages the miners had for the future.

But it got me thinking about time capsules.

They're a special way for people of one era to speak directly to another.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sitting in the booth and waiting for a waitress, I couldn't help overhearing a conversation between two senior citizens enjoying coffee at the counter of a small, local diner.

They were reminiscing about grade school days.

"It was a rough time," said one old man, a gent with a loud, crackling voice, his furrowed brow emphasizing the word rough.

"My mom didn't have much, but always scraped things together. She had to pack my school lunch by seeing what she could come up with," the man recalled.

"But one thing I always had was bread," he went on.

Saturday, April 4, 2015
Thirty years ago I had a chance to spend a day one-on-one with Jack LaLanne, America's first fitness guru, and pick his brain about tips for healthy living.

It was exactly 30 years ago. But I'll never forget.

I was working in Wilkes-Barre and was given a chance to spend a day with fitness guru Jack LaLanne.

Younger folks might not recognize that name. But we boomers grew up watching him on television.

His real name was Francois Henri LaLanne and he was called the godfather of fitness.

He was the first fitness superhero, a pioneer in healthy lifestyles who opened the first fitness club in America.

Our day began early when I met him for a breakfast interview at a brookside table at the Woodlands Inn and Resort.