A lesson in praying

Did you see the video of the 2-year-old little girl saying her nighttime prayers? If not, you can view it on CNN.com. Search for “toddler praying on baby monitor.” Go ahead, I’ll wait. I saw it on CNN Wednesday morning. The story goes that Kathryn and Caleb Whiit, of South Carolina, were in a hurry to put their daughter Sutton to bed so they could watch the Carolina Panthers football game last Sunday night, so they skipped her nighttime prayers which mom always says with her. As they prepared to watch the game they heard something upstairs and when mom… Continue Reading

Gotta be Gilmartin

CNN’s feature “The person who changed my life” got me thinking who is that for me. I did not have to think long. Aside from my parents, my kids and my wife, the answer is clearly Mr. James Gilmartin. This isn’t the first time I’ve mention this or written about it. Jim, who insists on me calling him by his first name no matter how difficult I find it, and I have talked about this often. Just recently he sent an email in which he wrote, “I sometimes wonder what you would have done with your life had I not… Continue Reading

What’s this? Responsibility?

Don’t know if there is a Northeast Pennsylvania Restaurant Association, and if there is, don’t know if they name a Person of the Year. But if they do, I have a nominee. Stefano DiPietro. He’s the weather guy I watch most every morning on WBRE-TV, the local NBC affiliate. Friday morning I heard him say something that made me smile and almost cheer. What he said was, “Go out to dinner tonight.” I have a lot of friends in the restaurant business and my heart aches for them every time the weather people strike fear into the hearts of the… Continue Reading

Fond memories of a Lifesaver

Louis Arroyo died last week. No, I don’t expect you to know of him. But a few of you may. I do. Louis (pronounced Lou-eece, emphasis on the second syllable) was a New York Yankee. A lesser known one, obviously. At the news of his death, it wasn’t like Yankee fans everywhere wept. Nevertheless, he was a crucial element in the Yanks’ winning the pennant and the World Series in 1961. That was the year Mantle and Maris each chased Babe Ruth’s home run record and Whitey Ford won 25 games. But Louis had himself a season, too. A season… Continue Reading

What Bowie did for me

The death of David Bowie conjured up the same memory for three people I know extremely well: my daughter, my son and I. The memory is Labyrinth. The adventure fantasy movie by Jim Henson and George Lucas was released in 1986, the same year my son was born. My daughter was three. We did not go to see it in the theatre (few people did) but once it came out in video, we played it to death. Bowie starred as the Jareth, the Goblin King, with a young Jennifer Connelly as the teen Sarah who must navigate the Goblin’s elaborate… Continue Reading

Rich is as rich does

My wife is afraid if I win a billion dollars tonight I will give it all away. I’m afraid I won’t be able to give it away fast enough. First of all, we’re probably talking about a moot point. I heard someone say the odds of winning this Power Ball are greater than the odds of a vending machine falling on you and killing you. Still … What does a billion or so come out to after taxes? About 540 million? Okay, so how much, I ask myself, would it take to change my life in a positive, but not… Continue Reading

Putting away Christmas

I put away Christmas yesterday. So much easier than getting it out. And so much harder. Physically, there is no comparison. No untangling strings of lights. No searching for the perfect place on the tree for the peach ornament you bought in Savannah during your daughter’s first year of college. But psychologically? Emotionally? Forget it. The tree, the perfect tree, carefully selected on a crisp December morning at a farm in the country, lies on the curb. The baby Jesus, lovingly placed, always last, of course, in the stable your father made, is back in its box. Even this morning’s… Continue Reading

Another empty stool

Murph Adams will be laid to rest today and many of us will never be the same. In particular, the guys at the donut shop on the corner of William and Laurel streets near the Pittston By-Pass. “That’s Murph’s stool,” Stanley Waleski said, pointing to the empty seat at the counter next to me as I stopped to say hi to him and Ed Paradis Sunday morning. I was just there to grab a quick coffee to go, but when I spotted Stan and Ed I had to walk over and pass the time of day. Of course one of… Continue Reading

One book leads to another

About 200 pages, 222 to be exact, into The Art of Fielding I wanted to recommend it to all my friends. At page 446 I’m not so sure. The lives of all of the characters author Chad Harbach made me fall in love with are a mess, and I am not happy about it. So much so that I am tempted to close the novel and never open it again. But you know I won’t. I’m just saying Mr. Harbach has 66 pages to put everything right. And he’d better. But at page 222 I was thoroughly delighted, stimulated, enlightened… Continue Reading