Sunday, June 29, 2008

If You Build It...

There have been whisperings that it is time to replace our area's premier sports venue, PNC Field. It would be a huge endeavor. For what it's worth, I have found a new site for the new ballpark; the Murray Complex between Pennsylvania Avenue and Wilkes-Barre Boulevard in downtown Wilkes-Barre. You could put a new park with plenty of parking on that site. The complex is dilapidated and needs to be bulldozed. Putting a ballpark in downtown Wilkes-Barre would re-energize the downtown. Play ball

Saturday, June 28, 2008

George Carlin

In 1972, my family was flooded out of our Kingston home by Hurricane Agnes. I spent the summer living with my best friend and his family. John and I worked at the only car wash in Wilkes-Barre. Needless to say, we were busy all the time as flood victims came to wash the thick cruddy mud left behind by the Susquehanna River from their cars. To pass the time of day we listened to 8-track tapes, including one called FM-AM by George Carlin. That album contained the "seven dirty words you can't say on TV." We loved it.
One day my friend's father asked to see the tape case. Panic! He knew we had the Carlin tape. We never did figure out how he knew. Tickling the different tapes, he found what he was looking for. He promptly removed the tape, placd it on the ground and smashed it to smithereens. He said nothing more. Neither did we.
After he pulled away, we removed the "Steppenwolf," tape from the case and placed it in the 8-track player and we listened to, "George Carlin, FM and AM." You see we knew this would happen and we had switched the contents of the two catridges. We listened to George Carlin day and night. I even memorized most of the routines and used to get invited to perform them. I even did a Carlin performance at a high school. Carlin was a genius. Enough said. RIP.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Congratulations to the Boston Celtics for winning the NBA championship. It was a case of a young black coach beating a more experienced white coach. On Monday, a young black man beat an older white man to capture the U.S Open Golf title. Is anyone sensing a trend here?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Twice in a While

Once in a while, in life, you will meet someone whose extraordinary faith and love makes a mark on your life. I have had such opportunity.
The persons of whom I write are John and Peg McKeown of East End (to be noted hereafter as God’s country.)
You may not know them personally. You might be familiar with their work, the Irish Teachers Program at King’s College. I have always referred to John as the Mayor of East End
John and Peg walked through this life together for 65 years. To know them was to be blessed by their friendship, loyalty and love. To know them was to love them and be loved.
Peg departed this world last month and last Sunday East End gathered to celebrate her life and to say good-bye. It was a beautiful Mass celebrated by Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., the President of King’s College.
Peg’s favorite prayer, “Be at Peace,” by St. Frances de Sales asks us to “have no fear…God will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it.” When I attended daily Mass at The Chapel at King’s, I would always say hello and get some words of encouragement from the McKeowns.
Once in a while, you meet someone extraordinary. Twice in a while, you will have been lucky to meet John and Peg McKeown.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Profiles in Courage

I am either going to be laughed out of town or look like a genius. Here goes. In 2000, Texas Governor George Bush, the presumptive nominee of the GOP appointed a committee to begin vetting Vice Presidential candidates. Mr. Bush named Dick Cheney to head up the search. After all was said and done, Cheney was Mr. Bush's choice for VP. Now Senator Barack Obama has named his own committee to begin the search for his runningmate. The committee will be chaired by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President. Now if you were looking to score major points with women who feel bruised by what they perceive as shoddy treatment of Senator Hillary Clinton, you'd pick a woman who could transcend politics and at the same time be a bold stroke. Gee, I wonder if Mr. Obama could find someone like that?