Frank DeFord A Class Act

The moment I heard of Frank DeFord’s death I thought of two people: my friend Mike Caputo and Frank’s daughter Alexandra. Frank DeFord was a sportswriter, a sportswriter of brilliant insights. He also made frequent appearances on television as a sports commentator. Mike and I appreciated all of his work, but mostly his writings on tennis. At a U.S. Open in New York several years ago, Mike spotted Frank DeFord on the grounds. In typical Mike Caputo fashion, he approached him with humility and dignity saying, “Excuse me, Mr. DeFord. I apologize for disturbing you and I’m sure you are… Continue Reading

Is Raleigh Coupons in the Hall of Fame?

Chatting in the car on the way home from tennis, our first outing of the season, I told my buddy Mike about the book I’ve been reading, “Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King. Actually, I’d been dying to tell him about one thing in the book: little Bobby Garfield’s Alvin Dark autographed baseball glove. Not a lot of my friends would know the name Alvin Dark but I knew Mike would. Alvin Dark was a Major League baseball player who had some of his best years as a short stop with the New York Giants. This was in the ’50s,… Continue Reading

Road trip observations

When you drive through the Bible Belt, as I did recently covering 3200 miles in 11 days, you aren’t surprised by the giant crosses of stainless steel or aluminum along the highway every so many miles. What is surprising is the number of adult book stores just as conspicuous. EZ on, EZ off, just like a gas station or fast food restaurant. I’m not drawing any conclusions, just making an observation. Here’s another. I wound up eating in a few Bob Evans restaurants during my trip and took note that in each there was a customer who looked the part… Continue Reading

Summer travel

Summer is for travel and although it is only mid-May I suspect I am going to be doing a lot of it this year. Whether or not I Ieave home. Some of what I am about to share may make it into a full column or two in upcoming issues of Greater Pittston Progress, but for now let me just say I get a sense I am going to spend the next few months doing something I rarely do: living in the past. It starts with the unfathomable realization that this year marks the 50th anniversary of my high school… Continue Reading

Nor any a drop to drink

You may have missed it but Drinking Water Week was held May 7 through 13. Who the heck needs a week devoted to drinking water? Well, I do. I cannot explain it but I have a hard time getting myself to drink water. In fact, if I am not hyper-vigilant about it I can go an entire day without drinking one full glass. Admitting that makes me feel so foolish. The thing is, I know how important drinking water is. I also know it is the surest way to drop some of these Christmas pounds that are still hanging on.… Continue Reading

On French fries, and Welsh cookies

I really shouldn’t write this today because if it hits its mark, which pretty much means your mouth should be watering, you can’t do a thing about it. The opportunity to indulge in perhaps the best French fries this side of the Jersey shore has passed. Sorry. Same for the Welsh cookies, but that’s temporary. Frequent fliers at the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival know what I am talking about. At several other such gatherings (Sacred Heart church in Dupont and St. Joseph Marello, formerly Our Lady of Mount Carmel, church in Pittston spring to mind) you’ll stand in long… Continue Reading

Ear ye, ear ye

So, I’m driving down to the college the other day and on the radio I hear a report that “cotton swabs” are responsible for 250,000 (yes, a quarter of a million) ear injuries every year, mostly in children, and my mind races in several directions. One is, what’s with the “cotton swabs?” We’re talking Q-tips, right? Hasn’t that term become generic by now? Actually, wasn’t it generic right out of the shoot? All tissues are Kleenex and all “cotton swabs” are Q-tips. Another thought is, while I know what it says on the package, and so do you, is there… Continue Reading

Lay off bananas already

I’ve always had love handles. Something tells me they are hereditary. Regardless, I’ve long ago come to grips with the reality that they ain’t ever going away. I’ve done all sorts of side bends and twists and diets. No exercise touches them and losing 20 pounds only seems to enhance them. As the rest of me gets skinny, the love handles attract even more attention. I’ve often said if you dig me up ten years after I die I suspect you’ll find a skeleton with love handles. Love handles are me, you might say. As such, I’ve learned to live… Continue Reading

Thursday night at the brewery

Forget Philadelphia, it’s always sunny in Pittston. Except when it’s shady. I will be researching both Thursday night, May 4, at the Susquehanna Brewing Company. Sunny Spot is Susquehanna’s grapefruit shandy. It became my go-to adult beverage last summer and most likely will claim that title again this one. Shady Spot, SBC’s lemon shandy, ain’t bad either. I will be at SBC supporting my friend Ed Philbin and learning about the restoration of “The Constitution,” a 1934 Boston & Maine locomotive, currently underway at Steamtown in Scranton. The project is the baby of the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Historical Society… Continue Reading