Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ed, Farrah, Michael

They say these things come in threes. Isn't it ironic that in a week that should have been his own, Ed McMahon will end up playing "second," if not "third banana?" Say the name "Ed" and you wouldn't think of McMahon. But say, "Johnny and Ed" and there is no doubt about whom you are talking. "Farrah" stands on her own. Say, "Michael" and this generation is likely to think "Jordan" not "Jackson." I was a little too old to get caught up in the Farrah frenzy. I liked the Jackson Five more than Michael Jackson. If I had to count which of these three performers put a smile on my face time and time again, I'd have to go with Ed McMahon.
Yes Virginia, I'm getting old.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Bailout!

From MSNBC...Senate Democrats defeated a Republican effort to kill a $1 billion "cash for clunkers" program that provides government incentives of $3,500 to $4,500 to car buyers who trade in old gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles. But in passing the bill on June 18 as an add-on to funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats also defeated the "green" wing of their own party, who wanted to do much more to favor the purchase of passenger cars over pickup trucks and SUVs. The bill, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign, will enable many consumers who take advantage of the program to buy trucks that are barely more fuel-efficient than their old guzzlers. If this idea sounds familiar, may I refer you to a post on this blog from November, 2008. ( The program was right. The amount was wrong. If Congress needs any additional help, please use the e-mail address listed below

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Fallen Hero

On Friday, Northeastern Pennsylvania said good-bye to Pennsylvania State Trooper Josh Miller. Trooper Miller was shot and killed in the line of duty.

I was able to watch and listen to much of his funeral service. It was most impressive.

I was struck by the generosity of his family. They allowed us in. They allowed us to share their grief. Perhaps it was their way of allowing us to share the burden.

On my weekend rounds, I drove Exeter Avenue in West Pittston. There I found American flags lining the street. It was just a small part of the route Trooper Miller took to his final resting place. There were hundreds of flags. Maybe thousands. Young people from Wyoming Area High School decorated tree lawns on Thursday as a tribute to Miller.

Isn't it interesting that one symbol, the American flag, is used to illustrate our greatest pride and our deepest grief.

On this Flag Day we remember, lest we forget.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Frank Harrison 1940-2009

Above: Frank Harrison, M.C., Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Speaker of the House, Your blog editor.

Attorney Frank Harrison died this past week. He passed away in Galveston, Texas. Frank came out of the 1982 Primary as the Democratic nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania's 11th District and easily defeated Jim Nelligan in that year's election. Harrison was defeated in the 1984 Primary by Paul Kanjorski who serves in the congressional seat to this day. Frank became the "fair haired" boy of the Democratic Freshmen Class of '82. Because of it, he was able to bring in the "big guns" for his re-election effort. One of those guns was Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the House. The above picture was taken in the backroom of the Peking Chef Restaurant on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre during a live shot on WBRE-TV 28.

I got to know Frank while I was the News Director at WILK-AM. Each Primary and Election, Harrison would co-anchor our election coverage with the late, great Dr. Roy E. Morgan. In 1980, the Luzerne County Commissioners decided to end the long standing practice of tabulating results on Election Night. WILK Engineer Ron Balonis developed a computer program and WILK tabulated the results. Using those results and Frank's bellwether precincts, WILK was the first to declare an upset win by Republican Jim Nelligan in the 1980 11th District Congressional race. Before you go saying, "so what," remember this was 1980 and computers just didn't do then what they do now.

Harrison was always a gentleman and always brilliant. One lousy campaign in 1984 sealed his fate and I often wonder what things would have been like if Harrison had been re-elected. Would Frank Harrison have been the man standing in the middle in the picture above?

RIP, old friend.