By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com [1]

I'm still not positive who wrote the lyrics to "I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas", which was outlined in last week's column. But the consensus seems to be it was the late George Matrician, the former band director at Coaldale High School.

That sounds logical, as Matrician wrote the words to a number of songs, including the Coaldale Fight Song.

Several readers responded to the article, including John Poko, the former Coaldale Post Master who called me Saturday morning and put in his vote for Matrician.

I speculated it was either written by a Tamaqua School teacher or a nun at St. Mary's School in Coaldale. Anne Girard of Coaldale thinks it was the nun.

But Margaret (Barron) Sullivan, a 1960 graduate of Coaldale High, feels it was Matrician who penned the words. Margaret, in an email, reflected on her days at Coaldale and how we students would gather in the auditorium to sing Christmas Carols.

Dawn Zweisdak of Summit Hill, whose husband, Jack, and her late brother-in-law, Bill, are Coaldale grads, also thought it was Matrician who wrote the words. She remembered Bill talking about it years ago.

Jackie Adamitis, a Coaldale native, had similar memories.

She emailed: "I might be wrong, but I was always under the impression that our beloved George Matrician wrote the words for Black Christmas

"We would sit in the auditorium of C.H.S. and sing our little hearts out every Christmas holiday.

"We had a lot of assemblies in that building - people telling us about anamals, watching movies that our teachers deemed important, Mr. (Wilbur) Berger's welcoming us for the first time. Pep rallies, even Mr. Lithgow stopping in the middle of a pep rally to inform us (President John F.) Kennedy was shot and we prayed. Oh, the memories from that building. But it was George Matrician that penned the words."

The more I think about it, the more I think she's correct.

And now, a question. See if you can answer it correctly.

You are a participant in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?

ANSWER: If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are in second place.

Another chapter in our youth died this week. Sally Starr, "Our Gal Sal" died at the age of 90.

Two hours a day, every day of the week, Sally would host her own kids' show. Dressed in her cowgirl attire, she showed us kids cartoons, and had special guests, including Chief Halftown. She provided good memories of us growing up.

Another question. See how you make out with this one.

If you overtake the last person, then you are.....?

ANSWER: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Think about it. How can you overtake the last person?

I'm not exactly pumped up for tomorrow's Super Bowl. But I'm interested enough to watch it, even though my team, Pittsburgh, didn't even make the playoffs this year. If I were a betting man, which I'm not (I limit my wagers to the office block pool), I would pick the Ravens to win over the Forty Niners in a low scoring contest, maybe a score of 17-14. One thing is certain. The winning and losing coaches will be named Harbaugh.

Third question: This must be done in your head only. Do not use paper and pencil or a calculator.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000 and add 30. Add another 100. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?

ANSWER: Did you get 5000? Sorry, that's wrong. The correct answer is 4100. If you don't believe it, check it out with a calculator.

The nightclub fire in Brazil that killed 233 people last weekend was the ninth such tragedy since 1940, where hundreds of people were killed under similar circumstances. You would think that after all these years, proper methods would be in place to prevent such tragedies.

Last question: Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4, Nono, and ???

What is the name of the fifth daughter? Did you answer Nunu? No, of course it isn't. Her name is Mary. Read the question again.

Children's classic stories, like Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, and even Jack and the Beanstalk, have been updtated into what can only be described as horror movies. Why can't kids' stories remain kids' stories?

Food plays a big part in my getting through the months. Comfort foods, they're called. Two of my favorites are homemake chili and bean soup. They'll chase the chill from the coldest winter day.