Saturday, July 31, 2021

Andy's Angles: I Saw the Light


This one has been sticking in my craw for a while, and by the way, where is a "craw?"

No one will argue that the intersection of Main, Boulevard and Storrs in Dickson City needed to be updated.  There is a lot more traffic here than there once was and it will get even worse in the years to come, when a new hospital opens several blocks down main, to the right in the photo above.

Here is what's driving me insane, pardon the pun.  I don't know who is responsible, but they picked the absolutely ugliest poles and extensions out there.  This part of Dickson City still has its small town feel.  Now, it looks like there is a major highway interchange in the middle of the borough.

The photos, taken just after dawn on a recent morning don't do justice to the ugliness.  Yes, it is possible to improve safety and aesthetics at the same time!

By the way, police have gone on record as opposing some changes to the traffic flow here.  I've been through several times and haven't had an issue, but the people who patrol here every day know more than I.

I'm sure some official on some level, down the road, looking to win reelection, will come up with more of your money to do the intersection the way it should have been done in the first place.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Let's Review


My second vacation week of the year is in the books, so let's review.

It was standard stuff for the most part-- gym, a bike ride, some photography, a little reading, and a lot of sleep.

The unusual aspects were that this vacation was more social than most-- dinner with a friend, a get together with another friend, and a gathering of some high school chums.  Included were a couple of guys I hadn't seen in forty years.

I got a hair cut and ventured in to Walmart for the first time in a year and a half.

I tried a new type of pizza and it will be months before all the garlic is out of my system.  It brought back a fond memory.

Unlike most other vacations, I did NOT grow my usual vacation beard.  I had too many social commitments and I didn't want to look grubby.

The vacation ends at ten tonight, and it's time.  I yearn for the excitement of the newsroom.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Thursday Scrapple


I recently stumbled across some old "Frasier" reruns on overnight TV.  I had forgotten how funny that show could be.

People who live and work there really should have a say on renaming their street.

I've really tried.  I just can't get interested in the summer games.

Mixed feelings on billionaires in space.  Yes, that money could do a lot of good down here, but the private sector has to take the lead in space exploration.

30 years since Laura Ronning was murdered in Wayne County.  Unsolved homicide.  Tragedy upon tragedy.

I know it has to be done, but why is every road under construction at the same time?

It seems to be happening more often-- see something advertised.  Visit a store that doesn't have it.  Order it on-line.

Am I the only one who isn't comfortable with the Tunkhannock hospital closing its emergency room this fall?

I've seen too many blogs and web sites that review restaurants and food, without giving operating hours and directions.  It's just lazy.

Looks like the state will have one opening day of trout season again next year.  It eliminates confusion and increases fairness.

Jerome Jurenovich is retiring after 40 years in sports broadcasting.  He used to do a daily highlight reel on CNN Headline News, back when it actually did news.  Unmistakeable, high energy delivery and I always enjoyed his work.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

In Memoriam

 Former Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick died last week.  He was only 60 years old.  Skumanick served his county for five terms, and our paths crossed several times.  He was always accessible and available-- just what a journalist wants in a district attorney.  Oh, by the way, he also knew the law and knew it well.  I remember, after he left office, I picked his brain on the legal issues of the day when I ran in to him at the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton.  It was a fascinating talk.  I'm sorry George left us so soon.  He made his county a better place.

Comedian Jackie Mason died Saturday.  93.  His voice and delivery were unmistakeable.  I could listen to that New York Jewish accent all day.  Plus, he was funny.  Really funny.  I enjoyed his routines and I am saddened at his passing.

There was a cartoon series in the late 60's, "The Ant and the Aardvark."  The supremely under-rated John Byner did the aardvark's voice, a perfect Jackie Mason impression.  You see, my friends, as an old radio guy, the voice means a lot.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Business Tuesday


I really should care about Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC.  I really should.  This could trigger an implosion in the college football world.  To me, it's just another episode in a story I've believed all along.  College sports, especially football, is a huge business.  The original intent and mission of collegiate sports died long ago.

The Cleveland Indians become the Cleveland Guardians at the end of the current baseball season.  I understand why "Indians" had to go.  Guardians?  I don't see this one as triggering a wave of new merchandise sales.

I'm running in to more businesses, especially bars and restaurants, altering their hours because they can't find enough help.  What's happening here?

Casinos here in Pennsylvania are reporting healthy profits.  With pandemic restrictions eased, people have apparently regained the urget o go out and lose their money.

The Wall Street roller coaster seems to be a bit bumpier these days.    I'm no expert.  I have people who watch my money for me.  However, watching the daily fluctuations is keeping the antacid people in business.

Gasoline proces seem to have backed off a bit, a tiny bit.  There is only one month left in peak summer driving season.  There is still plenty of hurricane season left to go, and a storm in the gulf has the potential to cause major problems.  I don't think anyone can predict the way things will go.

I haven't seen any TV ratings from the Tokyo Olympics just yet.  No major interesting stories from the games, so far, and that can'tg be good news for the TV people.

Monday, July 26, 2021



My county wants me.  My county needs me.  I have been summoned for jury duty.

It's really not a big deal.  I enjoy getting an inside look at the process.  It's not the first time.  There was a round of questioning during my last stint, and I got bounced.  I later learned the defense attorney wanted no part of me, something I never let him forget any time I ran in to him at the courthouse.

Here's the rub.  My service falls during a week I have scheduled for vacation.  I'm honest to a fault.  I have no plans, so I didn't try to delay my date with the county.  The questionnaire has been filled out and sent back.  I have to call the night before to see if they need me.  

Let's hope for pleas and settlements, and please do me a favor.  Don't commit any crimes between now and mid September. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Andy's Angles: 211


While many of the engines at the Von Storch shop in Scranton are here to be scrapped, their parts salavaged, many are here to be repaired.

It looks like 211 is on the list.  I'm happy to know this one will still be on the tracks of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Andy's Angles: 7222

 A yellow engine in the summer sun...

It's another photo from a visit to the Von Storch repair facility in Scranton.

Again, it's an engine that has seen better days.  The weeds and junk along the track add to that "abandoned" effect, but the engine hasn't been abandoned.  It's apparently here to give up its parts.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Touch Me


When the pandemic hit, WNEP management wisely and kindly made changes to our plumbing fixtures.

Traditional faucets were out.  Touchless fixtures were in.  Think about it.  It makes sense.  Less bad things are transmitted when you touch fewer things.  It's been that way at WNEP for several months.

I'm on vacation.

I was at home, in my kitchen the other afternoon, attempting to wash my hands.  I soaped up, using a high quality anti bacterial soap, and I placed my hands under the faucet.  I waited.  I waited some more.

And then I realized I was at home.  My kitchen faucet is relatively new, but it still requires you to flip a handle to turn it on.

You can take the man out of the office, but you can't take the office out of the man.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Section 24, Red Asterisk


A childhood friend died ten years ago.  53 years old.  Far too young.

I didn't go to the viewing.  I didn't go to the service, and that's always gnawed at me.  You know how it is.  You graduate from high school.  You go in different directions, even though you are just a small town block apart.  I took a crushing credit load in college, plus work at the college radio station, plus another part time radio job.  You stop calling.  The days become weeks.  The weeks become months.  The months become years, the years become a lifetime, and this story does not have a happy ending.

I did write a long letter to my friend's father a couple of weeks after he passed.  It was the right thing to do.  It helped assuage my guilt a little, but I still regretted not doing more right after my friend died.

Several months ago, I decided I'd find my friend's grave and visit for a few minutes.  I knew the cemetery, but the cemetery office was closed by the pandemic.  I struck out on three tries.   It recently reopened and I dropped in the other day.  The person at the desk was very helpful.  I gave her my friend's name and the year he died.  She went in to a back room and returned a few minutes later with an index card.  Yes, an index card!  Bishop Bambera, it's time to computerize the cemetery's records.  I also spied an IBM Wheelwriter typewriter in the office.  We had those during the tail end of my WARM run.  They were state of the art-- in 1986.

The woman at the desk gave me a copy of the cemetery map.  With a red pen, she made an asterisk to mark the location of my friend's grave.  I got back in my car and followed the directions.  After walking back and forth through the rows of headstones in section 24, I finally found it.  A simple, dark stone.  He's between his mom and dad, and near a favorite aunt.  I'm sure he would be happy if he knew that.

I lingered for a few minutes, thinking of those bike rides, wiffle ball games, Monopoly tournaments, dart competitions, and summer days on our front porches, wasting time and watching the world go by.

Yes, I'm happy I finally found my friend's grave.  It makes up for me not being there when it counted, but only a little.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

One Track Mind


A lot of people like to go on trips,

Others stay home and read the comic strips.

--Bobby Lewis, "One Track Mind,"  1961

Sleeping Homer is here and that means another vacation week is upon us.

No plans, other than sleep, reading, the gym, some bike rides, and a little photography.

It's just a little chance to recharge the battery and gear up for the last week of summer.

I'll still be around, staying at home and reading the comic strips.

The weekend morning broadcasts fall to the very capable hands of Marshall Keely.

I'll call you back later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

If It Makes You Happy


As difficult as it is to believe, some things actually made me happy this week.

The first happened on the bridge you see above.  It closed for one last night week for a dinner party/  The bridge between Pittston and Pittston became one large dining room.  City officials say the bridge will likely be closed to traffic in the next several years, it might become a biking/pedestrian walkway.  Dinner on the bridge night showed it could work.

Downstream, it was the first "Rockin' the River" concert along the Susquehanna at Wilkes-Barre.  The improvements along the river are outstanding, and this was a great use.  It would be nice to see more.

The annual St. Ann's Novena opened in Scranton on the 17th.  While there are still anti virus precautions in place, the novena almost looked back to normal.  Nice crowds.  Nice people, and it was always something I enjoyed covering.

I saw the events from a distance, from the newsroom.  It still made me happy.  People are getting out, having fun, appreciating the area.  It would have put a smile on myself even in normal times.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Striking Out


Baseball was the first sport I grew to love and appreciate, and that's why I'm having such a tough time with the current state of the game.

About 36 million TV viewers watched the 1980 All Star Game.  last week, the number was down to eight million.

Yes, there are more choices now.  Things are much different.

There are too many home runs, too many strike outs and not enough big stars.  The All Star Game used to be special.  It was an opportunity to see west coast players, but now, thanks to TV and the internet, we can see west coast games as often as the ones played in New York and Philadelphia.

Players from the steroid era can't make the Hall of Fame, as it should be.  The league expanded too much.  the talent pool is watered down.  There are too many teams in cities that don't support them.  A game built on tradition seems to have rejected most of them.

I read where NBC has already sold more than 85 per cent of the ads in the 2022 Super Bowl.

Keep it up, baseball.  It's an NFL world and you are on your way to becoming a niche sport.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Andy's Angles: Sleepy Creek


This is a rather uninspiring view of the creek at McDade Park in Scranton, called Lucky Run.

Once again, I had the shutter open for a couple of seconds, and that smoothed out the water.

As noted yesterday, there will soon be a new foot bridge over the creek and that's cool.  It also looks like it could use a little TLC, maybe remove some rocks and sediment.

I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Andy's Angles: The Creek That Wasn't


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I had an idea for a blog header, and it was that little creek that flows through McDade Park in Scranton.  I ventured out on a morning after a heavy rain, thinking there would be a lot of water flowing down hill.  I could get a nice shot from the foot bridge that crosses the creek.  By the way, according to maps on the internet, the creek is called "Lucky Run."

Fail and Fail.

First, even though it rained heavily the night before, the creek was still rather lethargic.  I kept the shutter open for a couple of seconds, so what little water you see here is smoothed out a bit.

The second fail is that the foot bridge across the creek is gone!  It will be replaced.  There was some steel near by and you can see the newly poured foundation in the upper left of today's photo.

I'll be back.

Friday, July 16, 2021


Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800.  The jet went down off the coast of Long Island, killing 230 people.  On board, a group of students and chaperones from Montoursville Area High School.  They were on their way to Paris.

I can write a book about that night, and I really should.

Here is the abridged and super sanitized version.  I was working "down the street."  My phone rang late at night.  I don't remember who was on the other end, but I was asked to come in, meet up with a photographer, and head to Montoursville, ASAP.  After a quick shower, I was in the office.  There was a briefing.  The photographer arrived.  We loaded up a truck and headed west.

The dominoes started to tumble, and tumble hard.

I received the call because the station's central Pennsylvania reporter wasn't answering her phone.  I won't go in to the reasons.

The trip to Montoursville was filled with peril.  Yes, we were going a little too fast on a foggy and misty night.  I saw several deer along Route 118 and we were lucky that none decided to cross the road in front of us.

The station had a central Pennsylvania newsroom.  The thing that fed the video from Williamsport to Scranton wasn't working.

The station had a satellite truck, but it was rented out to another organization and it was in Carlisle for the Washington football team's training camp.

The central Pennsylvania reporter and a photographer eventually showed up, after I had the material for a really good story.

The only way to get the story on the air was to drive it back to Scranton.  I was fortunate in that I was working with a great photographer-- fast and smart.  We got what information we could and some excellent interviews.  In fact, one of the sound bites was so good, it made the "CBS Evening News."  We high tailed it back to Scranton, and got a special report on the air, a half hour before the start of our regularly scheduled morning newscast.  I was very proud of that.  A big part of that was communication with the photographer.  I verbally outlined the story to him on the way back.  All I had to do upon arrival at home base was bang out a script on a keyboard and voice my portion.

The image that will forever be burned in my brain is something I saw as we were entering Montoursville very early in the morning.  News of what had happened spread rapidly.  Every light in every home was on.  It was like 7 pm rather than 1 am.  CNN did a documentary on the crash several years ago.  I'm in it, talking about that very thing.

School officials did what they could.  Every school has a disaster plan.  It's one thing on paper.  It's something totally different when you have to implement it, when you have a school filled with crying students and parents, when you have a crush of reporters and photographers in the lobby.

There was plenty of hostility toward the media, and I get that.  People were angry.  Upset.  We are an easy target.  It comes with the territory.  I didn't see any insensitivity in those early moments, but to many, our mere presence is viewed as crossing the line.

Many of the same logistical problems remained the next day.  A station from Buffalo took pity on us and offered to transmit our video back to home base.  I wish I remembered the names of the crew.  Thank you.

After those first early days, the story was left to others on the staff.  I should note the work of Kevin Jordan, who went to Long Island to cover the story from that end.  Hardly a day goes by when I don't think of Kevin and what I learned from him.

I left the station about a month later, sorry to lose a job and lose contact with some good people.  Looking back, some events changed the place forever and it was best to move on.

Enough about me.

25 years have passed, and I'm sure the pain the families feel is just as strong.  It will never go away.

I'm sorry.

Thursday, July 15, 2021



A couple of stories on Newswatch 16 jumped out at me this weekend.  Both dealt with potatoes.

The first took place Friday in Shenandoah.  People were lining up at a block party for bleenies.  I looked it up and consulted several sources.  A bleenie is just another word for a potato pancake.  The people in Shenandoah swear they are the best and I couldn't find how they are doing anything different.

The second was Saturday in Duryea.  The most popular stand at a Nativity of Our Lord church picnic on Stephenson Street was the one that sold potato pancakes.

First, here's a great idea for some community around here.  Hold a potato festival.  It's a versatile vegetable.  A celebration of the potato would be a great hook.  We already have kielbasa and pierogi fests.  A potato festival is a natural fit.

Second, what's the fascination with potato pancakes?  Yes, I do like them on occasion.  Not often.  The grease factor is a major turn off.

They don't seem all that difficult to make, but here's why I think people line up for them.  They don't want to clean up all the grease splatters from the frying process.   No matter how careful you are, you are going to have a messy stove after a close encounter of the bleenie kind.

Leave it to the frying experts at the carnivals and picnics.  Have your potato pancakes.  Support your local churches and fire departments.

And, let's get that potato festival moving soon.         

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

All He Wanted Was His Teeth


It's funny what sticks with you after all these years.

Wrestler Paul Orndorff died this week.  71.

I'm not a wrestling fan, but I've always remembered the name.  I cannot think of Paul Orndorff without recalling Elmer Biemueller, and yes, Elmer's name is also burned in to my brain.

Let's go back to the spring of 1984.  There was a melee at the CYC involving Orndorff, also known as Mr. Wonderful.  Biemueller, then 81 years old, wound up getting a punch in the face from Mr. Wonderful.  His face bloodied, his false teeth broken.

The whole sorry episode wound up before a district justice in Scranton.  I was there as a radio pup with WARM, and it truly was a media circus.  Orodorff showed up at the Lackawanna County Courthouse to face the charges, attorney by his side.  Biemueller and his lawyer were there.  The district attorney and an assistant DA showed up.  TV cameras.  A radio microphone.  The curious public.  All that was missing was the caliope.

It turned out to be much ado about nothing.  The criminal charges were withdrawn.  Biemueller settled for an apology and a new set of teeth.  Mr. Wonderful was off to some other ring in some other city.

Elmer left us in May of 1985.  I wonder if he'll run in to Paul Orndorff in heaven, and smile.

Also, Charles Robinson died this week.  75.  He was Judge Harry Stone's clerk on "Night Court."  Robinson first appeared on my radar as Newdell, the intimidating make up man on "Buffalo Bill" in the early 80's.  "Buffalo Bill" was a brilliant series, starring Dabney Coleman, as a television talk show host in Buffalo.  It lasted only 26 episodes.  I read where people just hated Coleman's character, but if you softened up the character, you lost the heart of the show.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Back to School


It has become a post Independence Day ritual, and I don't mean cleaning up from careless fireworks users.  It is the back to school sale.

I dropped by my favorite dollar store last week for some odds and ends. and there it was, right at the front door-- full aisles of notebooks, pencils, pens and assorted other doodads.

I do recall back to school time starting a bit later when I was a kid, at least mid August, but you know how things are these days.  Everything is on an accelerated time line.  I'm sure there is even more pressure on retailers this year because there was no back to school time last year.

Even though my back to school days are long gone, looking at all that stuff can still produce happiness and anxiety at the same time.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Monday Scrapple


My interest in competitive eating contests, especially the hot dog thing on Independence Day:  Zero.  I simply find it nauseating.

Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter are celebrating their 75th anniversary.  Fantastic!  Carter won't go down in history as America's best president but he is one of the finer humans to ever occupy the oval office.

The west baking through another heat wave, plus a drought.  Holy cow!  That's a lot to endure.

If I was a billionaire, would I spend some of my money on a space flight?  I'm not so sure.

Most people look down on it, but some super market/mini mart ice cream is actually pretty good.

Why can't baseball get its act together?  Too many home runs.  Too many strike outs.  The crack down on pitchers using sticky substances has been handled poorly, but it needed to be done.

The NHL is done for the season and the NBA is nearly finished.  There is a lot of pro football talk on the radio and most of it is useless.

I'm glad Elsa wasn't as bad as it could have been, and as I write this, the tropics are eerily quiet for this time of year.  There is still a lot of hurricane season left.

Subway is updating its menu.  Maybe management reads my blog and realizes that better food is the best way to get customers to return.

Two new Oreo flavors on the way:  salted caramel brownie and apple cider donut.  Pass.  I'll take the original.

After all these years, the giants Despair Hill Climb remains great fun.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Andy's Angles: Blue and Yellow


Cleary, this one has seen better days.  It still has its charm.

This is another engine I found during a recent visit to the Von Storch repair facility in Scranton.

Thie engine looks like it's about to surrender its parts.  While it will be sad to see it go, bits and pieces will live on.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Andy's Angles: Like a Moth to a Flame

 I cannot resist driving by the rail repair facility on Von Storch Avenue in Scranton, especially when I have my camera in my car.

Old diesels wind up here.  Many get fixed.  Some are salvaged for parts.

You know how I feel about diesels. The more beat up they are, the better I like them.  I just think of the stories they can tell, where they've been, what they've hauled.

I hit the jackpot here on a recent morning, and I'll sprinkle the photos in during the next several weeks.

Friday, July 9, 2021



This one arrived in the mail the other day, and I'll be attacking it in the next few days.

It should be a quick read,  It's mostly pictures and those pictures are fantastic.

The book traces ABC's rise from an also ran to a dominant broadcasster.  It documents the innovations ABC was famous for-- different types of coverage, different types of programming, investments in talent and technology.

I was always a Cronkite and CBS guy.  They "eye" and the logo font still hold magic for me.  The top of the hour radio newscasts are the gold standard.  ABC jumped in the 70's and left everyone in the dust.

When the pandemic hit, ABC's "World News Tonight" became the highest rated broadcast in all of television and that's amazing. and I'm not saying that just because I work for an ABC affiliate.

Look for a review here in the days to come.

Thursday, July 8, 2021



Let me tell you about Jill Garrett.

I'm going to butcher the line, and I will attempt it anyway.  A person's true value lies in the way they make other people feel.

I arrived at WNEP in the summer of 1998, fresh from the competition.  I wasn't just the competition.  I was the pain in the arse competition.  Many felt I would fit in, that I wasn't WNEP caliber.  I was too rough around the edges.  Undisciplined.  Unqualified.  Thankfully, News Director Paul Steuber talked with people who really knew me, and Paul became satisfied he was making a good hire.  Be that it as may, there were still several non believers on the staff, and I was radioactive to those individuals.

And then, there was Jill.  She could not have been more kind, more wecoming, and more professional.  Warm.  Friendly.  It was special to me.  It wasn't to Jill.  Kindness was just Jill being Jill.  It was who she was.

It should be noted that Jill Garret was a pioneer, the first woman of color, on local televison and I knew that wasn't easy.  She tackled that assignment like she did everything else-- with class, dignity, and yes, kindness.

Jill Garret died Tuesday.  She was 66.  Only 66.

I'm glad I knew her. I'm glad I worked with her.  You are lucky she was in your homes every night.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021



The horse is out of the barn on this one.  Yet, I still feel the need to open my yap.

Considerable network and local air time last week was devoted to ways to spice up holiday barbecues and cook outs.

I'll pass.

For me, one of the major charms of a cook out is tradition.  I like my burgers.  I like my hot dogs.  I like my standard macaroni salad and potato salad.  Put some lettuce, tomato, ketchup and onion on the burger.  Maybe a slice or two of cheese, preferably Swiss.  American is horribly bland.  Mustard on the hot dog.  Relish and onions are okay.  If a dear old friend is still reading the blog, she is cringing over the onion thing.  Sorry.  I gotta be me.

Standard burgers and dogs simply taste like a holiday.

You can keep the fancy stuff.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

A Little Radio


Not much on the agenda, just a couple of quick radio notes today.

A station with a strong signal in Luzerne and Wyoming counties recently flipped from a religious format to country music.

Country is a huge and popular format in the United States.  But, there are already two other country stations in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.  Apparently, the new owners think they can make a buck with it, and I wish them well.

Will I be listening?   Uhhh...  I can't say I'm a country guy.

It has to be tough being a radio programmer these days, especially in medium and large cities.  Pick a format, and there are already two or three other stations, at least, doing it.  The key is doing it better and a good signal is a must.

Shifting gears, Howard Stern is catching some heat lately.  It's not for what he said.  It's for what he didn't say.

I've long considered Stern one of the best interviewers in the business.  He's fearless.

What has Howard fans upset is he's never on the job.  Stern is on vacation until Labor Day, and he only does 100 new shows a year.  That's an average of less than two a week.   Sirius/XM pays Stern a fortune, and that's great.  Stern saved the company.  Unfortunately, we're reaching critical mass here.  Are customers willing to pay for 100 new shows a year?  Of course, there are many other things on satellite radio.

I do have a Sirius/XM streaming subscription.  I love the 70's channel and all the sports talk offerings.  I never upgraded my subscription to include the Stern package, and I have no plans to.

Howard Stern has earned his millions.  His fans deserve better, a decent value for their money.

Marv Albert retired Saturday night after calling the Hawks/Bucks game on TNT.  He's 80.  While Albert will be remembered for an outstanding body of television work, he was the radio voice of Monday Night Football for years and he called eight Super Bowls on the radio.  Marv, enjoy your time off.

Monday, July 5, 2021

It Doesn't Hurt to Ask


WDAU used to have a photographer, Jack Scannella.  He was one of the people who helped invent local television news.  WDAU became WYOU, and as he neared retirement several years ago, Jack did some on-air work, a piece called "Friday Flashback."  No one knew the station's film archives better than Jack and he would resurrect something fascinating every week.

Times change.  Jack retired.  I moved on to WNEP.

When Jack passed on a few years ago, WNEP's news director kindly and wisely decided we should mention Jack's death.  Jack was a pioneer and the man deserved to be recognized.

Because I knew Jack and I was a WYOU alumnus, the obituary piece fell to me.  It was an honor to write it.  I needed video and I didn't have it.

I asked a couple of former co-workers if there was a chance WYOU management would give me some video of Jack's work.  The response was the same from both:  no way.  News Director Rod Jackson was fiercely competitive, and he would never help the other station in town.

You miss 100 per cent of the shots you never take, so I emailed Jackson with the request.  Not only did Jackson give me more than I asked for, he sent a follow up email to make sure the electronic video file transfer worked properly.  It did.

Rod Jackson later moved to a station in Charleston, West Virginia.  That's where he died last week.  Cancer.  My sympathy to his family, friends and co-workers, past and present.

The morals of the story:  some people have a bigger bark than bite, and there are pockets of decency in a frequently indecent business.  Plus, it never hurts to ask.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Andy's Angles: The Bigger Picture


In case you're wondering, this was my McDade Park mushroom tree.

My mushroom policy:  I can eat them raw in a salad.  Just don't cook them.  I don't like the slimey texture.

Not being a mushroom guy, I don't know the variety of this month's header.  It was just a nice growth.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Andy's Angles: About the Cover


I usually have an objective for the monthly blog header, and I set out with a goal in mind.  This month, total serendipity because my first two choices didn't pan out.  I will prattle on about those in the weeks to come.

As I parked my car at McDade Park, I spied some mushrooms growing under an evergreen.  Boom!  Done, and it's something different than my average header.

I should note the actual photo looks better than the header.  The geniuses at Blogger decided to mess with the template, and I have to manually put in the settings for a header photo.  I still don't have it right and the header photo isn't as sharp as I would like.  I'm working on it.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Rumsfeld and the 4th


He is perhaps one of the more controversial political figures of our time.  Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld died yesterday.  88.  Rumsfeld served under President Ford and President Bush 43.  I'll let history judge Mr. Rumsfeld, especially because of his decisions concerning Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

It's safe to say that other than being president, defense secretary and secretary of state have to be the most difficult jobs in American government.  State is incredibly hard because you are dealing with a world that seems to change on a daily basis and the wrong decision could set off a war.

With defense, you are running a multi trillion dollar corporation.  Most important of all, you have the power to send young men and women to die.

Shifting gears, it's Independence Day weekend.  I appreciate what the day is all about and I remain in awe of the courage and wisdom of the founding fathers.

Moving on to contemporary times, the day is too bright, too hot, too noisy and too dangerous.  I know why the state still tolerates neighborhoods turning into war zones.  Follow the money.  But, what is the price of safety?  So many people are against the fireworks law.  Harrisburg looks the other way.

Thursday, July 1, 2021



The second heat wave of the summer is over, thank goodness.  I have a feeling there are at least a couple heat waves ahead of us before summer lets go.

Some people like the heat.  Others don't.  Relax.  I'm not going down that road again.

I will offer a short story I first told here many years ago.

I was working down the street, covering a heat wave.  I was in my suit and tie.  We were in the LaPlume area, near Keystone College.  That's where we encountered a road crew working with hot asphalt.

I looked at one guy and I could see the look on his face.  I know he was thinking "Look at that idiot, out here in 90 degree temperatures in a suit."

I looked at him, thinking how rough he has it, working with steaming asphalt on a steaming day.

The moral of the story:  It's all a matter of perspective.