What might have been

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’ – John Greenleaf Whittier Which is why I believe a silver medal in an Olympic event can be so painful and a bronze so cherished. This John Greenlead Whittier quote occurred to me as I watched that Canadian ice hockey player take off her silver medal in apparent disgust on the podium following her team’s loss to the U.S. women.She has since apologized for her actions, but I understand. For some, winning the silver may bring too much pain to bear because the gold… Continue Reading

Presenting porketta

Our niece and nephew in Roanoke, Virginia, have always loved us, but now they love us a little more. In addition to presents for their twin boys, Remy and Emmett, celebrating their second birthday, and for big sister, Coco, three-and-a-half, we showed up last weekend with a porketta from Johnny Morgan’s butcher shop, just a few doors away from our home in Pittston. We introduced them to porketta on New Year’s Day, also explaining the tradition of eating pork on the first day of the year. Eat pork and you’ll slide through the year, living off the fat of the… Continue Reading

Hiding the Chinas

Like many of my early childhood memories I don’t actually remember this. I’ve just heard my mom tell it so many times I think I do. My mom, the story goes, had these two figurines of Chinese women. They weren’t expensive, she’d always point out, but I, just a toddler at the time, loved them. And lived in fear that they might get broken. Especially by my mischievous cousins who came to visit from time to time. “Got to hide the Chinas,” I’d announce the minute I heard they were coming and I wouldn’t rest until my mom put them… Continue Reading

If you called it love, it was

A few years ago a friend sent me one of those emails. You know the kind. Take this survey, send it to ten friends. I hate those things. This one claimed if you got your friends to answer all of the questions you will get to know them in a deeper way. Right. No way was I going to pester my friends with this thing. But I did read through the questions and the responses of the friend who sent it. The second last one was: “Who will be the first of your friends to respond to this?” There was… Continue Reading

I see a comb in my future

You probably heard the news, but you probably didn’t hear it the way I heard it. Or the way other guys like me heard it. McDonald’s french fries can grow hair! There were details, of course. Fine points. Something about a chemical used on the fries. Something about small doses. Something about rats in a lab. Something about it’s not exactly how it sounds. But I didn’t heard any of that. What I heard is: McDonald’s french fries can grow hair! It’s takes two things to have heard the news the way I heard it. First, it takes being of… Continue Reading

Burn begone

You know how sometimes a server will caution “Be careful, this plate is really hot”? Well, pay attention. A few nights ago my wife burned her finger pretty good on a plate at a restaurant. Mary Kay can tolerate a good deal of pain, so if she says something hurts, rest assured it hurts. She told me to ask our server for a glass of ice cubes, which the young lady immediately dashed off to procure, all the while apologizing. We assured her it was not her fault. She was back in a flash with the ice but also with… Continue Reading

Seriously, Siri?

I never bothered to set up Siri on my old iPhone. Could not imagine myself asking my phone to tell me a joke, or who was going to win the Super Bowl. But when I broke my iPhone, my new one practically insisted I speak “Hey, Siri” into the mic before I could complete my set up. Having what seemed like no choice, I did, but swore it was the first and last time she’d hear those two words from me. My world was just fine without any help from Siri. The other night I found out she may see… Continue Reading

A box that needs to be checked

I watch WBRE TV, Channel 28, news in the morning. I may switch to WNEP Channel 16 every now and then but mostly it’s Channel 28. The biggest reason is loyalty to my former students. While there is one LCCC grad in a key role at Channel 16 and perhaps a cameraman or two, I can name six working at Channel 28. I’ve grown fond of the team of Chris Langlois and Kelly Byrne along with weather guy Stefano DiPietro, but sometimes they surprise me. Like the other morning when Chris said he had Old Forge pizza for the first… Continue Reading

A festival fixture

Get folks talking about the Pittston Tomato Festival and a name that might not come up is that of Harold “Buddy” Golomb. But it should. For as long as I can remember, Harry Golomb, his wife Audrey and their assorted family members and friends, sold their prize tomatoes along with a wide variety of fresh vegetables at their stand on the lower Tomato Festival lot, right near the bandstand. You might say, in fact, it was Harry Golomb who put the “tomato” in the Tomato Festival. Harry passed away unexpectedly last Sunday. According to his obituary, he was 79 years… Continue Reading

A Pittston thing

Every now and then as I write, a little voice inside is telling me something is wrong. I usually pay attention. But sometimes I don’t. And wind up paying for it. Such was the case two weeks ago when I wrote my column about the “local legends” guest bartending event at the Red Mill Tavern. Among the legends lined up was Annarose Salvo whom I’ve known for, oh, 40 years. As I typed her name I was rather proud that I knew Annarose is one word. Then I got the bright idea of mentioning her maiden name in parenthesis. Some… Continue Reading