Yes, cannoli

They used to joke there are only two types of people who live in Pittston: Italians, and those who wish they were Italians. We’re talking ethnic descent here. Pittstonians are Americans. But we do treasure our roots. And celebrate the roots of our neighbors. When it comes to Italian culture, I, a descendant of German and Irish ancestors, fall into the latter category. And that’s okay. Better than okay, actually. It’s wonderful. I grew up surrounded by rich Italian traditions. When I tell people we lived on East Oak Street in Browntown when I was a child, eyebrows are raised.… Continue Reading

Why stop with art?

The story goes that when Winston Churchill was asked to cut funding for the arts during World War II in order to spend more money on the war effort, he responded, “What do you think we are fighting for?” But that was then. What did Winston Churchill know of school budgets and property taxes? Yeah, yeah, art is nice. But it’s 2016. How much more art does the world need? Besides, other subjects we once thought important have been cut and it didn’t hurt nobody. Okay, how many of you caught that double negative there? How many cared? How many… Continue Reading

Frankly speaking

I’ve eaten a Fenway Frank, a Phillies Frank and last Friday night in L.A., a Dodger Dog. But nothing compares to a Chicago Dog, the wieners they serve at Wrigley Field. I confess I am a hot dog fan. Which doesn’t make sense when I tell you I never, and I mean never, eat a steak. Can’t remember the last time I ordered a steak in a restaurant. But give me a hot dog, especially at a ballpark, and I’m in heaven. The Dodger Dog was okay. But like the ones in Boston or Philadelphia, basically just a hot dog.… Continue Reading

Three words, impeccably spoken

Phil Sayer died on April 13. You don’t know him. Unless you’ve been to London. Then you do. Sort of. Sayer was the voice of “mind the gap” on the London Underground. If you’ve ridden the subways in London, or as the Brits say, the “tube,” you’ve heard Sayer’s three-word warning not to get your foot caught in the space, or gap, between the rail car and the platform. You’ve heard it dozens of times. “Mind the gap” is such a part of a visit to London that T-shirts and coffee mugs displaying the phrase are on sale everywhere. I… Continue Reading

Our ‘Mayne’ man

I need a haircut. What little I have is getting long, and as I watched Sports Center on ESPN Thursday morning it occurred to me that if I let it grow for another week or so I’m gonna start looking like Kenny Mayne. No offense to Kenny (like he cares) but it’s not a look I’d relish. My son, on the other hand, would probably dig it. Kenny Mayne is, and has been for some time, our favorite sportscaster. But even better than that, he figures into one of the best moments ever between me and my kid. Michael was… Continue Reading

It’s been a while

I find myself doing something these days I haven’t done in some 20 years … following the NBA. Yes, professional basketball, a game that has changed so much (is there such a thing as “traveling” any more?) it sometimes makes me sick. But suddenly I’m willing to overlook those guys taking three steps without dribbling as they go up for a slam dunk, or camping out in the lane without fear of a three second call, or “dogging it” until the fourth quarter as they often seem to do during the regular season. I’m willing to do this for two… Continue Reading

2% Ed, 98% Fest

“EdFest” is a misnomer. I readily admit and happily take credit for clicking the first domino that resulted in the annual musical celebration that bears my name at Luzerne County Community College, but that’s the extent of my involvement. The success, and if you were at Thursday’s performance you know how successful it is, is due primarily to one of my colleagues and a whole host of students. And the student part is as it should be. This all began nine years ago when I got to know a few dozen Music Recording Technology students in my Intro to Mass… Continue Reading

A Bridge not far enough

It’s said the first rule of show business is to “leave them wanting more.” The reunited 8th Street Bridge didn’t just adhere to that rule last Saturday night, it was the rule. The legendary local rock band, arguably the best in the region for a good ten years through the ’60s and ’70s, performed once again at the River Street Jazz Cafe and in doing so, wiped out four decades of growing old for a few hundred of us Baby Boomers. From 8 to 11:45 p.m. we were all kids again. And we did not want the feeling to end.… Continue Reading