Ahh, books

I’m heading to the college today with a stack of books under my arm and a big smile on my face. I love turning my students on to books. In any given Intro to Mass Communications class you’ll find students who always have a book in their lives, students who’ve never read a book, and everything in between. While I am not out to proselytize book readers, I do hope to light a flame in the hearts of the non-readers by exposing them to the rich, exciting conversations engaged in by those who do read. I hope they will think… Continue Reading

I’m 65, I tuck

It’s 5 o’clock Friday morning and I am wrestling with a big decision. Been wrestling with it for a week, actually, ever since one of my students at the college suggested we make today Tropical Shirt Day. Sure, I said. Why not? I have a tropical shirt I can wear and even one for another student who said he doesn’t own any. Here’s the dilemma: to tuck or not to tuck? I grew up in a world where men tucked in their shirts and I must admit, the current style of not tucking sneaked up on me without my noticing.… Continue Reading


Now it’s over. Yogi Berra died yesterday. When he turned turned 90 last spring, I wrote most of what follows. Seems appropriate to share it once again. I was never much of a Yankees fan but always a Yogi fan. Who isn’t? After all, Pittston is a town with an actual fork-in-the-road. Do you know how often I’ve repeated the Yogism, “When you come to the fork-in-the-road, take it?” I met Yogi twice. The first time was in New Orleans on the day after Super Bowl VI in January of 1972. I was 22 years old and my Uncle Eddie… Continue Reading

President and accounted for

Just when I thought the only thing by brother was interested in was making money and driving cool vehicles, he texts me during the GOP presidential debates Wednesday night with a picture of him and his daughter Masha at the Ronald Reagan Library where the debates were being held and writes visiting presidential libraries is sort of a hobby with him. He’s been to seven. He even has a favorite, FDR’s, he says. With LBJ’s a close second. Reagan’s is in a beautiful location, he writes, and special because he is buried there. This is you, Bill? I have to… Continue Reading

Who should be on the wall?

As artist Michael Pilato completes his work on the Inspiration Mural in downtown Pittston, the debate continues on the topic of who should be included in the spectacular 5-story masterpiece. To me, those who belong on that wall fall into one of two categories. The first includes all the folks who are in the mural. If they are there, they belong. They belong because, true to the mural’s name, they inspired someone, either the person (or people) who nominated them, or the artist, himself, who decided to include them. Nominees were sought for several weeks, and while not everyone who… Continue Reading

Another summer of ‘Angels’

“Away from her, you loved her more,” Joshua Chamberlain reflects in the quiet nighttime hours after a hard day of battle with still another looming the next. “He remembered her letters,” author Michael Shaara writes of Chamberlain, who we find lost in thoughts of his wife back home. “The misspelled words,” Chamberlain recalls of those letters. “I lie here dreamily,” she once wrote. “Even the misspelling is lovely,” Chamberlain concludes. I enjoyed the poetry of Shaara’s prose even more this past summer than when I first read his masterpiece about the Battle of Gettysburg more than 20 years ago. The… Continue Reading

Not bananas

I could never figure out how any sane person, knowing what we now know about cancer, could continue smoking. Until they told us about the sun. As a lifelong sun worshiper, it was remarkably easy to put my head in the sand (pun intended) regarding melanoma. And just like that, I understood smokers. Yes, I eventually listened. Sunblock of 30 or more is now my best friend. And I can live with that. But all summer long the internet has been telling me about yet another thing to fear: bananas. Over and over I keep seeing lists like “10 things… Continue Reading

Wall of love

If I were given to cliches I might call it a labor of love. Instead, I’ll call it simply love. I’m talking about the new downtown Pittston mural which will be dedicated Saturday night. More specifically, I am talking about the artist who created it. Artist Michael Pilato poured more than his immense talent into the work he calls his masterpiece. He poured every ounce of his loving heart. A lot has been written and said about the mural which fills the entire southerly side of the refurbished Newrose building. Why is this person there? Was is that one not?… Continue Reading

The antidote

Summer’s gone, ain’t comin’ back although the weather’s been hot. Thank God there’s sports to see me through or I’d be so distraught. The speed with which a summer flies could leave me oh so low. ‘cept the U.S. Open is underway. That’s tennis, if you didn’t know. But not just tennis to guys like me. It’s much, much bigger than that. The fourth and final Grand Slam event keeps me from feeling flat. Roger and Rafa and Novak and Andy I’m counting on pulling me through when the finality of a Labor Day cookout can leave me feeling blue.… Continue Reading