Pennsylvania

Where All the Hep Cats Get to Go

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“The Wyoming Free Library and Wyoming United Methodist Church often collaborate on book  sales,” Muriel told Gloria. “Everybody in Wyoming and West Wyoming votes at the library on Election Day too.”

 

 

“I’m happy with it too,” Gloria said.  “Every afternoon when I come here I get to meet all kinds of characters, from frazzled parents and children to Mormon missionaries.”

 

 

“Yeah,” the former opined.  Them city slickers think they’re in the center of all the action and adventure, but hey, we’re where it’s really at.”

 

 

“Besides that,” Gloria gushed, “We’re four miles from Pittston, the tomato capital of the world.”

 

 

Welcome back yet again to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.  Read her blog for all the interesting details.  Thank  Sandra Crook

for the swell photo prompt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annunci

Major Adjustment

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Clarence, recently widowed after sixty years of marriage, liked to reminisce about his wife Mabel.  A resident at Wilkes~Barre’s Little Flower Manor, he always played Kate Smith’s “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain” when he felt nostalgic.

 

 

“That was our wedding song,” he cheerfully told visitors and friends.  Everyone noticed that he wasn’t handling things well but he never admitted it until he was alone in his room.

 

 

That was where he felt free to stare into space, in dead silence.  Until he admitted his problem, no one was able to help him.

 

 

Welcome back to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Read all about it on her page.  This week’s photo was supplied by Gah Learner .

 

Northeastern Pennsylvania In History

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It’s the Fourth of July in northeastern Pennsylvania.  Naturally I’m partying with kin in Hilldale.  A gang of cousins and I go to nearby Wilkes~Barre to see the historical exhibitions in the Square.

 

 

“Northeastern Pa.’s loaded with military history,”  Joe and Ron, our Viet Nam veteran cousins, remind us.  “Remember,” Ron said. “We have to leave soon to see Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock in Wyoming Borough.”

 

 

At the end of our day, we get to go to Jitty Joe’s, in Scranton, for ice cream.  That’s all so mundane, even with all the toppings, compared to what we see here. 

 

 

Yet again welcome back to Rochelle’s  Friday Fictioneers.  J. Hardy Carroll provides this week’s photograph.  For the information of those of you with an interest in northeastern PA/Wyoming Valley history, here’s a good link:    Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock

Blueberry Fields Forever

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It’s the first weekend in July, 1988, so I’m visiting my father’s family in Hilldale, Pennsylvania.

 

The good news is, I’m still young and handsome. The bad news is, I do stupid things.

 

Some cousins and I go blueberry picking in the Poconos. I tire of their interest in Reaganomics so I wander off alone.

 

“Aaah, free at last!” I boast defiantly. No radical politics, no horrible music, no bad jokes!”

 

The catch was that 3:00 p.m soon became 8:00 p.m. with no sense of direction and no men’s room.

 

Next year  I’m going shopping for sure at Redner’s for blueberries.

 

Rochelle leads us weekly at Friday Fictioneers.

 

Bjorn Rudberg has supplied this week’s photo prompt.

Catholic Radio Ave Maria

J.M.J. 750 AM Catholic Radio Up until a few years ago, while still living in northeastern Pennsylvania, I worked as a volunteer at this exceptionally good Catholic Radio Station. Unfortunately I haven’t been in touch with them recently but at the time they were at the Oblates of St. Joseph Seminary on Route 315 in Pittston.

Bait and switch

“He never expected to find that at the hardware store.” Have you ever noticed that there are all sorts of circumstances and environments where one often can count on finding things he shouldn’t  expect to find there, or not finding things that should be there.

A perfect example is M.T.V. which,  during my youth, was a groundbreaking music video channel. Now it no longer has any connection whatsoever to music, though it still covers pop culture of other kinds.

 

I’ve always had quite a significant interest in the Catholic Church’s intellectual world. Although I no longer watch television~not counting reruns on Youtube~I’d always enjoyed, in the past, watching Catholic shows on television. When I lived in Lindenhurst, I tried watching Telicare, the Rockville Centre Diocese’s official Catholic network. To my chagrin, they never showed any Catholic shows. All I could find were panel discussions with psychotherapists, case workers, and social workers; old movies; local high school sports; and telethons.

 

To this very day I can still remember an incident, when I was growing up, when my parents, my younger sister, and I were on our  way to northeastern Pennsylvania to visit relatives. Somewhere during the course of the trip we stopped at a diner in which, the very name of the place advertised prominently that they sold chicken. When we asked for chicken, a dumbfounded employee explained that their menu included everything except chicken.

 

In yet another northeastern Pennsylvania moment, one day several years ago, I was trying to get home (which then was the Borough of Wyoming) from someplace in Wilkes~Barre. Because of my having been quite unfamiliar with my location, and lacking a G.P.S., I took it for granted that a sign I noticed, which said that Pittston, my mother’s hometown, was seven miles north of there, by way of that road, I attempted to follow the road.  Within only a few hundred feet, I was confronted with a dead end.

 

If ever I chance to find things like bubble  gum, livestock, and animal balloons, instead of hardware, at a hardware store, I’ll know very much better than to be even so much as the least bit surprised.Today’s Author

go down to the levee

Everyone in the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania enjoys the levee. Herman and Muriel exercise there daily.

They ride their bicycles along the path, where distance is measured by the quarter mile.

“Isn’t that a perfect view of the Susquehanna?”, she asked.

Her husband nodded assent, busily taking pictures of the perfect landscape, with its rolling verdant hills.

“It’s so nice to live a simple lifestyle,” she reminded him. “Like modern Luddites.”

Eventually they drove off, in their gas-guzzler, to Angelo’s Pizzeria in the Midway Shopping Center, for pizza and calzones.

“We’re simple,” he intoned. “But not fanatically so.”

Peter Abbey provided this week’s photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us weekly. It’s her fourth anniversary as our fearless leader.

the cousins

It’s Independence Day in Hilldale.

As always the cousins gather on Danny’s front stoop to hear Lanfranco and Gary play the accordion.

“Is it just me” Mary Ellen complains, “Or do those songs get sadder each year lately?”

The Ronald points out something interesting.

“Our parents have all died,” he reminds her,”and we’ve reached the second plateau.”

He goes on to explain, “The children and teenagers are having the time of their lives with that music, as we once did. The torch has been passed and we’re stuck with it.”

“But we still have Jitty Joe’s Ice Cream,” she gushes.

Thank you to Vijaya Sundaram for this week’s photo prompt, and to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields who guiddes us weekly through Friday Fictioneers.

be there or be square

“Hey Melvin,” Stanley blurted out. Youse know anything about wasps or what?”

“You mean like our neighbors the Hollingsworths?” his friend answered. “Not much, why?”

Stanley gave Melvin his “Youse stupid or what?!” look and dragged him out of sight of the insects.

He asked him if he wanted to attend this year’s Pittston Tomato Festival.

“It’s from today to Sunday man! We just gotta go!!” was the only possible answer.

They then drove over the Fort Jenkins Bridge into the annual extravaganza.

“I know it’s Woodstock’s anniversary,” Stanley bragged. But man oh man nothing can possibly touch this!”

Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us weekly in Friday Fictioneers, a story based upon a picture. This week’s photograph was supplied by Janet Webb.