Pittston’s annual Tomato Festival was a couple of weeks ago. As always I made sure I went a couple of days. Each year I see the same guy from the San Cataldo Society. He always recognizes me & reminds me that I showed up the previous year. This year, instead of a basket of cheer, he sold a basket of lottery tickets. I had a really nice time but it’s more about eating than anything else. I didn’t get anything to eat this year. Each day, on my way over there, I could never help noticing that on Main Street in Pittston, there was a nice little barber shop that only charged five dollars a haircut for the duration of the festival. I made sure I got one. I usually go to Rose Chairge in West Pittston but I couldn’t resist the price. It was raining when I went there. I parked in the library’s parking lot & walked down to the barber shop’s neighborhood. This month’s lay Carmelite meeting went really well too. We always meet at 9:00 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month at the Little Flower Manor in Wilkes_Barre. We always welcome new members. Nothing significant or drastically different happened at the meeting. St. Monica’s Guardian of the Redeemer men’s group still meets regularly too. St. Barbara’s Catholicism meetings are over. The last one was last night. Br. Patrick went to California for the summer so Fr. Phil covered for him. Gino & Michelle have succeeded in adopting officially their three kids, who have all started their first day of the new school year today. Uncle Frankie’s birthday party went well. He was just recently away for a week to visit Fran so I ended up having to get his mail for him. Yesterday was Jo~Anne’s birthday. She’s one of my oldest friends from Queens. My nephew Michael’s twenty~fourth birthday was on August 24. He had a really nice day with his girlfriend Erin. My parents spoke to him on the phone.
August is quite a busy birthday month for my kin. This coming Friday will be Mary Anne’s birthday so she, Steve & Bridget came in this past weekend for a party. It was on Saturday. Neither Michael nor Sam was available. They both had to work. Uncle Frankie, Aunt Lauren, Uncle Jim & Benjamin all showed up. Although Aunt Lauren got very badly hurt a while ago, she seems to be doing quite well so far. At least it’s good to see that she’s already back on her feet & partying. Benjamin’s been getting very big & talkative lately. I think he’s around nine years old now. Uncle Jim’s birthday was on Sunday. Fran wasn’t available though. She spent her birthday, August 2, in Canada with a friend. They both showed up yesterday, after a visit to Uncle Frankie’s with souvenirs for us. As always the cuisine was exceptionally good but entirely too fattening. Steve & I even went to Antonio’s in the Midway to get pizza & chicken wings. Their prices have gone up unfortunately. It’s still quite a really good place though. We haven’t been to Sizzle Pie in Kingston in quite a while. As always Mary Anne & family made their predictable pilgrimage to Weggmann’s. They don’t have one in their part of New York & everyone’s really crazy about it. Of course Steve made sure he took a few people on his plum inevitable jaunt to Jitty Joe’s. Alas I wasn’t available. That was the night I went to 7:00 p.m. Mass at O. L. Sorrows. Yesterday was Gary’s & Maria’s twenty~ninth wedding anniversary so I made sure I sent them an e mail congratulating them. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in their wedding party. Today’s Autilia’s birthday too. She’s cousin Lanfranco’s wife. Unfortunately the air conditioner in my car hasn’t worked for quite a long time so I shall have to ask Frank Gubbiotti to fix it for me very soon. There’s quite a major heat wave going on right now. We also get extremely violent rainstorms, with thunder & lightning, on a regular basis lately. A man even recently got killed by lightning at Pocono Downs Racetrack recently. This past week O. L. Sorrows held a blood drive. I really wish I could have donated blood but I already gave a donation too recently.
The weirdest thing happened last week. One day, during the middle of the week, my father & I went on one of his usual jaunts to the Veteran’s Hospital in Wilkes Barre for his check up. I always have to drive him there. As I pulled into the parking space I wanted, the guy directly opposite me said we needed a new right rear brake light. That wasn’t the highlight of the trip. On the way down River Road in Plains we always have to pass over a railroad track that doesn’t have a gate that comes down when the train is on its way. There’s one like that on Eighth Street in West Wyoming too. As we passed by the track he made a comment about how there was an accident between a train & a car. The next morning, in the Citizen’s Voice, I read an article about the accident. There’s a couple, Rocco & Liz, in their seventies, who attend St. Monica’s Church on a regular basis. Liz was the driver of the car. She’s seventy~eight years old. Amazingly, although her car was totalled, Rocco said she went away from the accident, after only a brief time in the Geisinger Hospital, with minor bruises on her nose & wrist. That’s most certainly the luckiest break I’ve ever heard of. The meetings at St. Barbara’s Parish, St. Anthony’s Church in Exeter, have been going really well so far on Tuesday nights. Oblates Brother Patrick McLaughlin hasn’t been available for the past few weeks because he’s visiting his family in Albany, N.Y. Fr. Phil Massetti has been covering for him. We have a big crowd each week. That girl Mallory is the only one we’ve lost so far. Last night was her last night. She is moving to North Carolina. Today is cousin Jamie’s birthday. Jerry Garcia, of the Grateful Dead, would have turned seventy years old if he could have lived until today. Tomorrow’s birthday girls are cousins Fran & Elaine.