Little Squealers, apply here

The folks at the nursing home did not want my mother-in-law attempting to get out of bed. Likewise, they did not want her attempting to stand up when she was sitting in her wheel chair. So they clipped this little wire to her nightgown or blouse. If she misbehaved, it sounded an alarm at the desk. She had a name for that clip: the Little Squealer. I cannot help thinking about her saying that every time I see those promos on local TV stations encouraging people to make anonymous calls to report the wrongdoings of public officials. You, too, they… Continue Reading

‘Paradis’ on Laurel Street

I ran into the donut shoppe on Laurel Street for an iced coffee the other morning and ran right into Ed Paradis. I knew it was going to be a good day. I’ve known Ed since he was a kid. His big brother Mike, who died way too soon several years ago, was one of my best friends. I typed Ed’s name countless times when he was a high school and college football player. In college he had the distinction of being named All State in two different states in the same year. He might be the only player in… Continue Reading

When is a mango not a mango?

Okay. Here’s the piece on mangoes I intended to write a few blogs ago before I got sidetracked. I had just returned from visiting my daughter and her family in Austin, Texas. My grandson is now 7 months old and my daughter is expanding his palate by introducing new foods that she pulverizes in a Vitamix I bought her for this purpose. He thoroughly enjoyed a recent spinach, apple concoction that Greta enhanced with a bit of cinnamon. Blueberries with quinoa? Well, he was in Heaven. Same with bananas and oatmeal. One morning Greta pondered what she might blend with… Continue Reading

Red’s influence immeasurable

The first two words in Bill Wellock’s piece on Red Jones on page 3 of today’s Citizens Voice are “Bill” and “Ackerman.” That’s my brother. He’s one of the first people Wellock sought out as he prepared a feature story on Jones, who died Monday, because of a text my brother sent to Red’s son Bill Jones as soon as he heard of Red’s passing. “My son is an American because of your dad,” the text said. That powerful statement underscores the kind, philanthropic, positive life Red Jones led and gives evidence that the influence of his life extends far… Continue Reading

A cookout, without the work

The weatherman is calling for a sunny afternoon Saturday with less humidity. That’s good. I have plans. They involve two of Greater Pittston’s best kept secrets, but that designation, I believe, won’t last much longer, if it indeed still applies at all. One is the tasting room at Susquehanna Brewery. The other, a food operation with the guts to call itself peculiar: Peculiar Culinary Company. They are teaming up Saturday (July 15) for a “cookout.” It’s slated for noon to 6 at SBC. From what I understand, the food will be available from 1 to 4. Look up “peculiar” in… Continue Reading

Crowd, more crowd

I was going to write about something else today. Mangoes, actually. But that can wait. It’s mid-summer and, among other things, that means I can take my time in the morning to knock out a blog and I can do so with Wimbledon tennis on in the background. With a second cup of coffee next to me, life does not get much better. All writers have their quirks. Two of mine are I prefer to write in the morning and I can have the TV on in the same room and pay hardly any attention to it. And if it… Continue Reading

Thursday was payday

The hardest thing about becoming a full-time college professor 27 years ago was not having tangible evidence that I had earned my pay check. Every week for the previous 23 years I had gained immeasurable satisfaction from holding the fruits of my labor, a weekly newspaper, right there in my hands. I’d actually leave the Sunday paper I had helped produce lying on the coffee table for a few days so I could see it when I passed by and know I was spending my time well. A teacher has no such immediate reward. I said so to a friend… Continue Reading

No good deed

I have a torn meniscus. At least that’s what the orthopedic doctor thinks. He won’t know for sure until I get an MRI and I won’t get an MRI until the folks at my health insurance company say I can. All of that is another story for another day. I just want to tell you how I tore my meniscus. No, it wasn’t playing tennis. Those who know me know I play tennis almost every single morning in the summer. This is not paddy-cake doubles either. We play hard, my two alternating partners and I. And those who know me… Continue Reading