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Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Ten: River Bridge

And now, my favorite picture of 2010.  I took this one on a September morning.  It's an old railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River at Pittston, with fog in the distance.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.

With any luck, we'll all be around to do it again next year.

As I think back on 2010, I can't say it's been the greatest year.  I've watched friends lose loved ones, and I've watched friends lose jobs.  We're all struggling with this down economy.  Intolerance seems to be on the rise.  Partisanship increases by the day, and it transcends politics.  I'm not sure if it was just a lousy year, or if this is the new normal.

Regardless, let's all try to make the best of 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Ten: Scranton Sunrise

Working early in the morning has its advantages.  One of them is the opportunity to photograph some great pre-sunrise scenes, like this one in downtown Scranton.  It was shot back in August.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Ten: Kanjorski

Today's offering comes from November 2nd, the last time "Congressman" Paul Kanjorski would go to his Nanticoke polling place.  He lost his bid for re-election that day.  When Kanjorski votes in the spring, it will be Mr. Kanjorski, or Atty. Kanjorski.

When I spoke with Kanjorski that morning, I got the distinct feeling that he knew his run in congress was about to come to an end.  He spoke from the heart that morning, and again that night in his concession speech.  Maybe if we had seen "that" Kanjorski during the campaign, the outcome would have been different.  Kanjorski and his handlers took a different path, and the rest is history.

Regardless of how you feel about his politics, Kanjorski has made a graceful exit from the stage.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Ten: Air Force Two

We couldn't get close, but it was a majestic sight nonetheless.  Air Force Two landed at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport October 11th.  Vice President Biden came to town, and did a little campaigning for congressional candidate Chris Carney.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Ten: Dansbury Depot Demolition

Dansbury Depot in East Stroudsburg burned in October of last year.  This year, the owner of the property decided the Civil War era train station was too far gone to save, and demolotion commenced in late July.

Several people stepped forward in an attempt to save it.  It was too little, too late, with too little money.  Eventually, a plan was worked out to save the remaining section and move it to an adjacent park.  It'll become a community center.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top Ten: New Milford Church

For the Sunday in our countdown, a picture from back in April.  It's St. Mark's Church in New Milford.  It first appeared on the blog back on Easter.  Advice to photographers:  If you're looking for some interesting structures and scenes to shoot, head to Susquehanna County.  There are tons of possibilities.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas !!!

The Top Ten countdown takes a break for the holiday, and it resumes tomorrow morning.

I didn't send out Christmas cards this year, so this is the best you're going to get.  Merry Christmas from the beagle and I.

I promise to shave for next year's portrait.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Top Ten: Tunkhannock Viaduct

A top ten list wouldn't be complete without a photo of one of my favorite places, the Tunkhannock Viaduct in Nicholson.  I took this one early in the morning of October 23rd.

I hope you, your family, and friends all have a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top Ten: Gouldsboro and Marywood's Tree

One of my patented ill fated attempts at being artsy is today's top ten offering.  It's a shot of the Gouldsboro train station, in the morning sun, back on July 31st.

As noted earlier this month, Marywood University moved its tree lighting to a Monday, and I couldn't make it.  I vowed to get there, eventually, to take a few pictures, and I did that the other afternoon.  Here it is-- one of the best trees in the area, in a spectacular setting.
I was going to save the photo for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but blog hits drop on holidays.  I wanted to keep the photos up for a while so you can enjoy it, before the big day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Ten: Reading Diesel

You know there had to be a train picture or two in this year's top ten.  The Reading Lines diesels, seen here in July, are among my favorities in the Steamtown collection.  The green, gold and black color scheme is striking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top Ten: Remembering Larry



I'll begin this look back on 2010 with photos I wish I didn't take.  We lost a good friend, Larry Lavelle, back in April.  He was at WNEP for a very long time, working in both the news and local programming departments.

Larry kept a mini museum of broadcasting history at his desk.  It was filled with old cameras, microphones and assorted other gadgets.  Larry appreciated history.  We miss him.  Larry was one of those people who always knew what to say-- how to lift your spirits when things weren't going well, how to provide a smile when you needed one.

I really can't classify today's photos as some of my favorites due to the circumstances, but we should see them one more time, and pause to remember a very good friend.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Ten

Last year, I spent the last days of 2009 counting down my favorite photos of the year. We'll try the same thing this year. It's a nice way to review the year, and bring back a memory or two. They are not necessarily the best photos of the year, but they are some of my favorites, for a variety of reasons.

Some bring back pleasant times.  Others note just the opposite, and you'll see what I mean tomorrow.

While I spent most of my time photographing buildings, bridges, trains, and bodies of water, there are actually human beings on this year's list.  I'm just as amazed as you are.

While the next ten days will be dedicated to my bad photography, there will still be a comment or two on the news of the day, as events warrant.  However, this is usually a slow time in the news biz, so photographs will take center stage.

It's hard to believe another calendar is headed for the trash can.  I know it's a cliche, but the time does fly by, and it seems to speed up as you age.

I hope you enjoy the look back.  It begins tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bad Photograpy Sunday

This is turning into a Penn State weekend.  You're looking at the Nittany Lion statue on PSU's Dunmore campus.  I was there a couple weeks ago to "front" an intem on Penn State accepting a bid from the Outback Bowl in Tampa New Year's Day.

The Nittany Lions play the Florida Gators, a pair of 7-5 teams.  I'm old school, and I don't feel 7-5 is good enough for a bowl.  Unfortunately, these days, there are more bowls than there are good teams to fill them, so just relax and enjoy it.

Speaking of Penn State, what was the Big Ten thinking when it okayed its new logo?  It's nothing special.  The league had to make a change because it's expanding to 12 football teams next season.  Change can be good, but this new logo falls far short of the mark.

And, if that wasn't enough, the Big Ten has named its two divisions "Leaders" and "Legends."  What's wrong with east and west?  Or, north and south?

Clearly, the Big Ten over-thought division names, and under-thought its logo.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bad Photography Saturday

Another Saturday, another Christmas tree.  This is the one at Penn State's Dunmore campus.  I shot this on a windy morning.  As you can see, the bow on top is a big askew and some of the ornaments fell to the ground.  It was still a nice looking tree on a campus that's really expanded nicely in recent years.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Scrapple

Michael Vick wants a dog.  Are you kidding me?  To steal a line from radio talk show host Steve Czaban, the only pet Michael Vick should have is a Chia Pet.

A&P filed for bankruptcy protection a few days ago.  What a sad story-- from the dominant eastern U.S. supermarket chain to nearly going out of business.

I did some mid afternoon Christmas shopping yesterday.  Nothing major-- just a few odds and ends.  The stores were packed.  I still don't believe the economy has turned around, but people are still willing to spend, somewhat, on Christmas gifts.

My heart goes out to the 300 people at Cinram in Olyphant, who are losing their jobs a week before Christmas.

George "Goober" Lindsey is 75 today.

I refuse to get weepy over Larry King departing CNN.  He accomplished a lot, but stayed at the party far too long.

I don't mind a little bit of cold weather, but this week was too much, too fast.

Kudos to FOX Sports for spectacular video of the collapse of the Metrodome roof.

Why are there so many problems managing our cities effectively?  Scranton is having its yearly budget problems. Either the mayor was too pessimistic or council is too optimistic.  Wilkes-Barre's mayor is looking for give-backs from some city workers.  Good luck with that.

Harrisburg in the state's newest financially distressed city. We've seen how well it worked for Scranton.  Good luck with that.  Maybe a dreadfully unfunny NBC sitcom comes along with the package.

Time's Person of the Year is the guy who "invented" Facebook.  Really?  Is that the best you can do?  Julian Assange, hands down.  No wonder the big news magazines have lost circulation and have become irrelevant.

I actually ate some brussel sprouts the other day, and they weren't bad.

An unexpected Christmas card is always a special treat.

Two groups of public service announcements always rip my heart out-- anything with animals, and Toys for Tots.  Concerning the latter, any time I see those spots, I realize how lucky I was.

See you tomorrow morning.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It Is What it Is

Two "inside baseball" blogs in one week!  Judging by the number of hits, you folks seem to like those things, so here goes.

Tuesday morning's assignment involved a trip to Montrose.  Our meterologists believed there was a good chance that parts of the northern tier would get hammered by several inches of lake effect snow.  It turns out that snowfall amounts were much less than anticipated, but it still warranted mention.  It doesn't take much to slick up the roads, and the storm hit overnight.  That meant a potentially tricky morning rush hour.
The big problem was the cold.  The bank thermometer across the street from out live shot location bottomed out at 7 degrees.  Add a brisk wind, and it was absolutely brutal out there.  I was lucky.  I smelled storm coverage coming, so I threw a pair of long underwear, plus a hat, neck warmer, gloves, and ear muffs into my bag before leaving for the office.  That stuff came in handy.  I don't think I could have functioned without the extreme cold weather gear.

Equipment was another issue.  Snow and electrical connections don't get along.  Diesel engines and generators don't like the cold.  Wires and cables get stiff and brittle.  In spite of it all, everything worked.

I'm saving the best for last.  I had it easy.  All I had to do is stand there and talk-- working to hit the right tone.  You have to warn people of potential weather related issues, but not get panicky and overly dramatic over two inches of snow and single digit temperatures.  It's Pennsylvania.  It happens in winter-- a lot.

Satellite truck operator Corey Burns and photographer Mike Erat were the ones who had the real hard jobs, and they deserve the bulk of the credit.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We're Not the Only Ones

I found this on the Pittsburgh Post Gazette web site Friday morning.  A reader sent in a shot of one of KDKA's weather segments.

Apparently, people in northeastern and central Pennsylvania aren't the only ones who fly to the supermarket when snow is in the forecast.

I have to admit that I have been tempted to head to the store when the forecast turns ugly.  Instead of bread and milk, it's caned soup, Pop Tarts and Diet Pepsi.  Fortunately, I'm usually well stocked, so those storm prompted trips are few and far between.

We all make fun of the supermarket rush, but I can understand it-- especially for families with small children.  You can run out of the staples rather quickly.

For the rest of us, even the worst of storms keeps you off the roads for only a day or two.  There's no need to panic.  The snow stops.  It always does.

By the way, there's big snow possible for the weekend.  Save me some Pop Tarts.  Strawberry.  Unfrosted, if you can.  Thanks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fed Ex

I preface today's entry with the following statements:

I've used Fed Ex many, many times.  There's never been a problem.  The company knows how to deliver a package.

I minored in public relations, and I've been in broadcasting more than thirty years.  I know what I'm talking about.

Today's blog might be too "inside baseball" for many of you, but I'll do it anyway.

Now that those items are out of the way, let me tell you about my Monday.

I was assigned to do a story on Fed Ex because the company was shipping 16 million packages-- a company record.

I looked through our files for some Fed Ex video.  None existed.  The reason for that will be noted later.

We set up one of our microwave trucks at the Fed Ex building in Pittston Township just before 5:00 AM.  Watching all those trucks and vans leave the bays was an impressive sight.  Pictures tell only part of the story.  I needed to speak with someone.

Early Monday mornings are not peak time at the customer service desk.  Only a few people were dropping off packages, and only one had Christmas gifts.  She declined to speak on camera.

I called the Fed Ex media relations office in Memphis, which didn't open until 9:30, eastern time.  By the way, naming the office "media relations" is rather humorous.  The first time I called, I was stuck on hold for seven minutes.  I gave up and called back a few minutes later.  This time, it was voice mail.  I left a name and number.  No one in Pittston Township, or the "Fed Ex Office" store in Wilkes-Barre Township could talk without permission from the home office.  I waited and waited for the return call from the media relations office.  Nothing.  Peak shipping day must have been a busy one, with calls from tv stations, radio stations and newspapers from around the country.  I can understand the demands on the time of the folks in Memphis.

For a while, Fed Ex has been sending out notices on its package shipment milestone.  You think the company would have been ready for the media onslaught on the actual day.  You would also think the media relations office knows something about television news and deadlines.

I realized why we had no Fed Ex video in our files.  It's because the company has never cooperated in the past.  The video we used for our morning broadcast came from one of the networks, who got "handout" video from Fed Ex.

My return call from Memphis came at 11:58 AM.  The media relations person explained he tried to find a local to speak with us, but couldn't.  How many people work for Fed Ex locally?  Hundreds.  He couldn't find one who could tell us what the Christmas rush was like?  Just one?

I told him I had a deadline two minutes away and I already did the story-- with UPS.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Unusual Treatment

Just about every community here in our area has a Christmas tree in the middle of town, and I think that's great.

The folks in Archbald have found a different way to display theirs.

It's under the roof of the pavilion, in the middle of High School Plaza/Archbald Memorial park on Church Street.  Doing that limits the size of the tree, but having it under the roof lessens the chances of weather related damage.  There are benches where you can sit and admire the scene.
I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.  Happy Holidays to the people of Archbald !

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bad Photography Sunday

The big tree isn't the only holiday decoration on Courthouse Square in Scranton.  Several of the smaller trees sparkle with tiny white lights.  This picture was taken just after sunrise on a recent morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bad Photography Saturday

It's hard to believe Christmas is just two weeks away.  The month is flying by.

This is Lackawanna County's Christmas tree, on Courthouse Square in Scranton, on a recent morning.

It's a beautiful tree in a bad location-- tucked away in a corner and hidden behind the flagpoles.  With all that room on the square, couldn't they find a better place?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bad Photography Friday

I know bad photography is for the weekends, but a combination of things led to today's photo.

First, there's nothing I really feel the need to say.  Holiday stress and depression are setting in.  Bad weather is on the way.  A little eye candy seems an appropriate and pleasant way to begin a pre holiday weekend.

I was traveling through Archbald late yesterday afternoon when St. Thomas Aquinas Church on Church Street caught my eye.  The sun was hitting it just right.  The sky was clear and blue.  I just had to grab my camera and fire off a few frames.  There was no need to tweak the colors.  This is exactly the way it was.  It's a beautiful building.
Enjoy your weekend.  I hope the precipitation that falls Sunday is mostly rain, rather than a nasty mix of snow and ice.  I also hope you're making progress toward accomplishing all your holiday tasks.

Stay safe, and with any luck, I'll see you tomorrow morning.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's Up with West Side?

Scranton isn't a city. Rather, it is a collection of neighborhoods, each with their own individual characteristics. Some have their own business districts, like west side. It's often referred to in capital letters, West Side, like it's an independent municipality.

When the school district was designing the new Scranton High School near Memorial Stadium, it asked west siders if they'd like to be included.  The answer was "no."  They want their own high school, even if it's old and with a frequently malfunctioning boiler.

Having laid that foundation, what's going on up there?  I was driving to work, early on a Monday morning, and noticed a lack of holiday lights on poles and over the streets.

Below is a day time shot, looking north on South Main Avenue.   It looks like your average day in West Scranton.



There are some illuminated angels in a couple parks, like the one below.  For a neighborhood that's a big part of the city, I expected more.  I don't know where the fault lies.  Is is the city's problem?  The merchants' association?  The residents for not voicing complaints?  Can't they "borrow" something from downtown?



The holidays are coming, but you'd never know it by driving through west side.    I'm sure they'd get more people into the bars, restaurants and shops over there if they'd present a more inviting atmosphere.   Maybe next year.   

                                                                                                                             
                                   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

30

John Lennon was murdered 30 years ago tonight, and even though there will be more than enough "Where you when...?" stories, I'll add mine.

I was like much of America that night, watching Monday Night Football on ABC.  It was late, and I was drifting in and out of sleep, but I distinctly heard Howard Cosell break the news about the shooting, and how John Lennon was pronounced dead at a New York Hospital.

I was a sophomore in college at the time.  I don't know if I didn't have a class the next day, or if I just had one early in the morning, but I do remember picking up my friend Mark in my 1978 Chevrolet Blazer and going for a long ride.  Markie, as he was known in the 'hood, was back from a break in the U.S. Army.  We spent a lot of time catching up and talking about what had happened the night before.

We wound up at the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg.  Hess's was one of the anchor stores back then.  It had a decent record department, and I remember it was mobbed the day after the murder.  Anything Beatles or Lennon was flying off the racks.  I wasn't sure if people were showing their love for John Lennon or if they were just speculating the stuff would be worth a lot of money down the long and winding road.

There was a lot of radio listening on our journey that day.  Of course, Lennon music was on every station.  I was in the single digits during the height of the Beatles' popularity, so I really didn't appreciate their greatness, and Lennon's loss didn't hit me quite hard as it did some others.  Sad, nonetheless.  I always marveled at how the Beatles re-invented themselves a few times over the years.  What you heard at the beginning was a lot different than what you heard at the end.  That's talent.  The Beatles' captivated a nation.  Again, that's talent.

I was on the college radio station a couple times a week back in '80.  Beatles, both solo and as a collective were usually part of my rotation.  I remember playing a few selections that week, but not going nuts.  I reasoned that there were others capable of doing a better job at looking back, and we were supposed to be an alternative radio station, anyway.

30 years later, emotions still run high, and that shows how important John lennon was to so many people.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Customer is Always Right

Wendy's has new french fries.  They're cut thinner and sprinkled with sea salt.  I tried some last week and was underwhelmed.  The old fries were just as good, if not better.  What's up with the sea salt?  It's supposed to be healthier than regular table salt.  You're eating fast food, so you've already suuspended eating healthy, at least for a little while.  The type of salt makes no difference to me.

Remember last week, when I predicted I'd be on the phone with Sirius/XM's foreign call center again?  Unfortunately, I was right.  Something got screwed up, and I was back on the phone Thursday morning.  Let's hope the latest problem is resolved.  Sirius/XM might be saving money by outsourcing, but they're losing customer satisfaction.  Could you imagine the company's success if they did it right?

Why can't they make a store brand diet cola that tastes nearly as good as the name brands?  I've tried all the store brands, and they all taste like turpentine.

It's time for a cell phone update.  A couple months ago, I decided I could no longer tolerate a Blackberry, and I de-activated it after 14 months.  The device was too big, and the keys and screen were too small for my tastes.  I never used most of its features.  I re-activated my old phone, a Motorola RAZR V9M.  I love it.  It's the perfect size.  Big keys.  Easy to read screen.  It's a substantial, heavy phone, made with metal over plastic.  Unfortunately, it's showing its age.  The display fuzzes out from time to time.  I stopped by a company owned store recently.  There were only a few non-smart phones from which to choose, and they all seemed flimsy to me.  On top of that, the children behind the counter realized they weren't going to be able to hook me up with an expensive data plan, so they weren't very helpful.  I tried a so called "premium retailer" last week.  It was the same story.  Few choices.  A less than helpful staff.  I'm still looking for a phone I can live with.  There were possibilities in both stores, but the staffs were indifferent.  They didn't seem to care about making a sale, so I went elsewhere.  I'm still looking to buy a phone I like from people who appreciate my business.  I don't think I'm asking for much.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Injection

It's a yearly struggle.  That "Christmas feeling" always eludes me.

For years, in an attempt to feel "Christmassy," I sent out a ton of Christmas cards.  The Christmas card therapy, admittedly selfish, eventually stopped working, and except for a few, I gave up.  Sorry.

My alma mater, Marywood University, was also part of the equation.  Every year, I'd do the same thing-- get to the campus before the annual tree lighting, sit in the lounge for a while, walk around, visit the library, stop by the radio and tv stations, drop by the office of an old friend, then make my over to the rotunda for the tree lighting.  If it's not the best Christmas tree in the area, in the best setting, it's on the short list.  My yearly visits brought back a lot of memories, mostly good, and I really looked forward to it.

Scratch Marywood off my list.  The tree lighting used to be held in the late afternoon of one of my days off.  Not this year.  The tree will be lit this afternoon at 4, well past my bed time on a work night.  I severely doubt I can make it.

If you're in the neighborhood, stop by.  Music, punch, cookies, and a spectacular tree.  You can't go wrong.

I'll likely get up there to take a few pictures this week or next, but it won't be the same.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bad Photography Sunday

We got a lot of rain where I live, but nothing like central Pennsylvania.

This is a Thursday morning picture of the Lackawanna River-- swollen, but well within its banks.  The picture was taken shortly after sunrise.  I'm standing on the foot bridge between Blakely and Olyphant, looking downstream.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bad Photography Saturday

How about a Christmas tree for the first weekend of December?

This is the tree at the center of the University of Scranton campus.  The "U" has been on a building binge lately, but they were wise enough to establish some green space between all those structures.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Media Notes

CBS News is blowing up its "Early Show" again.  An entirely new team starts work January 3.  One of the people being reassigned is Harry Smith, and I'm a big fan.  He's smooth and likable.  He can be serious and lighthearted.  The current version isn't a bad show, but the numbers aren't great, so the network wants changes.

There are on-line petitions aimed at saving Harry and the rest.  Save your time.  It's too late.

I really miss the old "CBS Morning News."  It was a solid, hard news broadcast.  The network morning shows are way too fluffy for my tastes.  Cable is even worse.  CNN is the best of a bad lot.  Unfortunately, hard news, in the morning, on the network level is a tough sell.  CBS gave up on hard news in the morning in the early 80's.

Can someone please explain Anne Hathaway to me?  She's pretty and talented, and will co-host the Academy Awards next year.  I just don't think there's enough star power and acting chops to bestow the title of Hollywood's current "it" girl.  Anne Hathaway is adequate, at best.

Speaking of adequate at best, Ryan Seacrest just signed a $60 million, three year contract with Clear Channel radio.  I can use an explanation for that, too.

Al Masini died this week.  80.  He created "Entertainment Tonight."  When I first saw it, I thought it would never last.  That was 30 years ago.

I know it does well in the ratings, but all-Christmas music stations get on my nerves, and good luck to the staff who has to listen to that stuff all day.

Jon Miller, fresh from being booted off ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, has turned down an offer to do the Sunday night games on ESPN Radio.  It's our loss.

I attempted to watch "Cougar Town" again the other night.  It's almost as un-funny as "The Office."

The Capital One series of commercials featuring the Vikings continue to be among the best on television, and the Christmas version is especially well done.

A friend shipped me an internet item that says Billy Bob Thornton is interested in doing a "Bad Santa" sequel, as long as it's as dark as the original.  I love that movie.

Don't forget about Julie Sidoni and Scott Schaffer on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?!" this afternoon at 4:30 on WNEP.

I've pointed out bad reporting in this space, and in the interest of equal time, the Times~Tribune did an excellent story the other day on Scranton's useless surveillance cameras.  $220,000 wasted on a system that isn't monitored and doesn't work.  It's a shame.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" never gets old.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Miniature Memories


I didn't want to write about this until I had some accompanying photos, and Tuesday afternoon, I slipped down to the Mall at Steamtown to take another look at Miniature Memories.

It's a huge model train collection, owned by Don Clark, and put together with the help of volunteers.  The whole thing started in 1977 at Keyser Oak Center, then the Scranton Marketplace.  Mayor Jim McNulty helped Miniature Memories move into the old Oppenheim building, when it was empty in the early 80's.  McNulty was desperately trying to get people to visit the downtown, and his showmanship is dearly missed.

When Oppenheim's was redeveloped, Miniature Memories found a home in the Gertrude Hawk chocolate store in Dunmore, until that store closed earlier this year.  Next stop, back to downtown Scranton and the mall.



Pictures do not and cannot do it justice.  In addition to the constantly circling trains there are dozens of local landmarks, too many to list here.  I just can't imagine all the work and all the hours it took to make this happen.

When I visited, the adults seemed to be enjoying it as much, if not more, than the children.  I thought about that for a moment.  It has to be because trains bring back wonderful childhood memories and thoughts of the way Christmas used to be-- when your biggest worry as a kid was getting your homework done in time so you could watch Gilligan's Island.  We had vibrant downtowns.  Window shopping was fun.  We actually hung out and talked with our friends instead of Twittering and texting.

As you might have heard by now, Don Clark passed away last week.  Thankfully, there are other volunteers to carry on his work, and they are willing to share their gift.  It appears Miniature Memories is open during normal mall hours.  There's no charge to get in, but please think about slipping a dollar or two into the collection box.  The money goes to St. Joseph's Center and the Christmas Holiday Bureau.

Miniature Memories hasn't changed much over the years, and that's a good thing.  In an era when so much comes and goes so fast, it's nice to know there's something close that can remind us of happier times.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

About the Cover

It's December 1st, and time for a new blog header.  It's been tough to get a good Christmas themed header.  First, a lot of the serious decorations aren't up and lit yet.  I'm not complaining about that.  Too much gets decorated too early these days.  Second, the weather when I've had free time has been lousy.  Third, I rarely get the chance to go out in the evening, when the lights are turned on.

This is one of the big toy soldiers that guard the front of 417 Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton.  My broker is in this building, so I hope the soldiers do a good job of guarding my assets.

Below is the wider view, from the Mall at Steamtown parking garage.