Saturday, June 24, 2017

Where We Live

Saturday, December 15, 2012


It's a bright summer afternoon, and 4-year-old Chrissy, clad in shorts, a t-shirt and her beloved cowboy boots, is clambering up the wooded bank that slopes up from the reservoir behind our house.

She grabs a tuft of onion grass, clutching it in her small hand as she climbs. Every so often, she pauses to examine a plant, a bug, an interesting rock. Her hands are dirty, and there are bits of twigs in her tangled blonde hair.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On Thursday, I got to say goodbye to my grandmother, Helen Zubek.

The service was small, a handful of family and friends gathering to say one final farewell to a woman we loved for over 91 years.

She wore a simple blue dress, the choosing of her two sons. I found the choice to be fitting, due to the fact that when I was growing up, all I knew was her in dresses.

In her hands was a white and gold rosary, which matched the one her husband had when we laid him to eternal rest 19 years ago this month. They were finally reunited.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


This is a story about Angel.

Angel is not a real celestial being. She is our daughter's family's seven year old Australian Shepherd dog.

When the family decided to get a dog, they researched and concluded they should get an Aussie because they are known to be highly intelligent, kind, loving and devoted to their family.

The family had their hearts set on a blue merle. These dogs are multicolored with tan, grey, copper and some white. They usually have one or both eyes that are blue.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I've gotten a lot of favorable responses to our recent columns of humor. I'm continuing that today with one filled with Irish humor.

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An Irishman arrived at J.F.K airport and wandered the terminal with tears streaming down his cheeks. An airline employee asked him if he was already homesick.

"No", replied the Irishman. "I've lost all me luggage!" How'd that happen? "The cork fell out!", said the Irishman.

- - - -

Saturday, November 17, 2012


What goes through your mind when you see a local organization or charity asking for a donation? Do you have compassion or do you just continue on? In a perfect world, everyone would reach into their wallets or pocketbooks.

The current economic crisis means that a growing number of Americans are finding it harder and harder to give. Some have even stopped giving completely.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What better time to pay homage to our finest than on a day already set aside in their honor.

It will be with heavy hearts and heartfelt emotions, then, that the Palmerton Veterans Memorial will be dedicated Sunday at noon in the borough park.

That the landmark occasion will be celebrated on Veterans Day, in a year in which the borough commemorates its Centennial, no less, only makes the event all the more special.

For those who attend, tomorrow's dedication will most assuredly be bittersweet.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This Election Day is important as it will decide the course of our nation for the next four years, if not longer. Do you agree with President Barack Obama's agenda or do you believe it is time to change direction? That is what is at stake in this election, and I think we need to remove the distractions and focus on the real question. Is this America the one you want, or do you want the America of our forefathers and mothers?

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Some of the greatest gifts we can ever receive, are often a reflection of our own efforts.

A couple years ago, my granddaughter dressed as Cinderella for Halloween. My daughter Margaux bought her the dress, but created the rest of her ensemble, so that Gabby looked as much like the Disney princess as was humanly possible.

For Gabby, it was truly magic.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


When politics get involved in an issue, the result can be like a car stuck on ice - the tires spin but there's no forward progress.

That's exactly what's happening at the Packerton Yards, a former railroad repair facility that straddles the Lehighton and Mahoning boundary along Route 209. Carbon County purchased the sprawling, flat tract of land and is hoping to eventually turn it into and industrial park - which if it comes to fruition would produce jobs and add to the local tax base.

Saturday, October 13, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Ava Bretzik, director and historian at the Asa Packer Mansion, and Ron Sheehan, executive director at the Asa Packer Mansion in the Sitting Room or Ladies' Parlor where ladies would do needlepoint and have tea parties. The Mansion will celebrate 100 years of public ownership on Nov. 3.

The Asa Packer Mansion will celebrate 100 years of public ownership with a public commemoration program. The one-hour program will take place on the porch of the Asa Packer Mansion on Nov. 3 at 10 a.m.

"This year, 2012, marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of Mary Packer Cummings, the last of the immediate children of Asa Packer," noted Ron Sheehan, executive director at the Asa Packer Mansion. "She willed the home to the people of Mauch Chunk as a memorial to her father."