Primary colors

A young lady in my 8 a.m. Advertising Theory & Design course left the college about 9:30 Monday morning, right after class, and headed straight to Mohegan Sun Arena where Republication presidential primary candidate Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at 7 that night. The doors were not opening ’til 4, but she wanted to be sure she got a good vantage point. And she did. Fourth row. There’s nothing even remotely political about this young lady whose life (and future, she hopes) revolves around country music. She attended the event with the same enthusiasm she attends country artists’ concerts,… Continue Reading

That pesky First Amendment

Watching Louis C.K. Tuesday on the Charlie Rose Show sent me scurrying to the Internet to read the irreverent comedian’s recent 1400-word rant on Donald Trump. I’m not very political and rarely, if ever, write about politics, or even government for that matter, so I have no intention of commenting on the piece. But it did remind me of a Trump statement that perhaps I should say something about: Trump’s declaration that if elected president he wants to “open up” the First Amendment to allow politicians an easier time of suing writers, specifically newspaper writers, who criticize them. Since I… Continue Reading

The smile and the ‘stache’

Within minutes after rising each morning I read the Citizens Voice obituaries on my smart phone. As I wait for them to load, I bless myself, partly as a prayer I will not see the names of anyone I know, and partly as a prayer for those I do. Friday, there were two in the latter category, Charlie Cupani and Phil Tuhy. I am tempted to say Charlie was my biggest fan, but Charlie had a way of making everyone feel he was their biggest fan. As generous with his compliments as he was with his smile, Charlie spent his… Continue Reading

Painting with words

Save for a few years in the early’90s, I’ve been writing a weekly newspaper column for 32 years, but until I read Kayleigh Demace’s Hughestown News in last Sunday’s Greater Pittston Progress I never knew there was a National Columnists Day. It was Monday, April 18. The date was chosen because it was on April 18, 1945, that war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese sniper. Pyle won a Pulitzer Prize for his columns about U.S. troops during World War II. When I think of columnists the name Mike Royko is the first that comes to mind. Royko,… Continue Reading

Nick Ruggiero, regular guy

As soon as he spotted me, Dr. Nick Ruggiero came bounding off his front porch. I joked that he must have really wanted the Tootsie Roll I was offering, but actually, it was pretty much the way he reacted every time he saw me. Why? I don’t know. On second thought, maybe I do. It was simply because Nick Ruggiero was a really nice guy. I was walking with the Greater Pittston Progress staff in the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Parade, handing out candy and having fun, and gladly would have trotted up to the porch steps where Nick and… Continue Reading

A question of ketchup

Do you know the grilled cheese sandwich has its own day? It is April 12. So if you did not celebrate on Tuesday, too late. Its official name is, quite appropriately, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Not only am I a grilled cheese sandwich fan, but the grilled cheese sandwich also represents one of the few things I can cook. When my kids were little, it was my go-to lunch, or even dinner. And I never got a single complaint. Their favorite way of enjoying grilled cheese brings us to the age-old question regarding this hundred-year-old staple: ketchup or no… Continue Reading

Masterful weekend

I don’t play golf. Never touched a club. Which seems to surprise, well, everyone. Maybe when I’m too old to run around a tennis court is my flippant response. But when I’m being serious, I readily admit I am in awe of what golfers do. All golfers, not just the pros. Hand me a couple of clubs and a little ball and tell me there’s a small hole in the ground, oh, about 435 yards over yonder, roughly four and a half football fields away, and you’ll give me four shots to get the ball in it, and I’ll say… Continue Reading

On PJs … and tennis shoes

Listening to Arianna Huffington on a television program talking about her new book The Sleep Revolution, Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time, got me to thinking about, of all things, my tennis shoes. And my running shoes. And my grass cutting shoes. And the shoes I happened to be wearing at the time with my jeans, which I call my “knocking around” shoes, which are also running shoes but not to me. Arianna Huffington, however, wasn’t talking about shoes at all. She was talking about sleepwear. In the book, which I’ve promised myself I will read … and… Continue Reading

Mission completed

“He’s my hero,” Gwen Baltusavich Michaels said to everyone who offered condolences at the viewing for her brother Billy who passed away March 25 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Gwen, who was at her brother’s side every step of the way, wanted everyone to know that Billy never gave up, no matter what the odds. “Charlie Mike” was his motto, she said, referring to the military slang for “Continue Mission.” She explained how the expression came to inspire the Penn State football team during the season following the death of head coach Joe Paterno, the conviction of former… Continue Reading