northeastern Pennsylvania

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

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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.

reginald and rachel

While visiting family in northeastern Pennsylvania, Reginald and Rachel took a walk on the local boardwalk.

“Isn’t this such a nice change from Long Beach’s boardwalk, honey?” Rachel pointed out.

“If we were there now,” her husband reminded her,”we’d be surrounded by teenagers with surfboards, Hasidic Jews in traditional black garb, and maniacs on bicycles.”

“It’s the perfect cure for our claustrophobia,”she couldn’t help noticing.

For countless hours they stayed there, enjoying the absolute silence and privacy, occasionally passing comments about the enigmatic triangle on the horizon.

“Too bad we don’t have one of those in New York”, she complained.

Adam Ickes provided our weekly photo prompt. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields is our Friday Fictioneers fearless leader.

trouble in scranton diocese

Raymond De Souza, K.M., of EWTN, is on my Facebook friend list. Unfortunately I found out, by way of a post of his this afternoon, that there is big trouble afoot in the Scranton Diocese. My parents were both from northeastern Pennsylvania, and I lived, for around seven and a half years, in  the Borough of Wyoming. I was a parishioner at Our Lady of Sorrows (now St. Monica’s) in West Wyoming. I have always been rather fond of northeastern Pennsylvania so I was quite disappointed to find out that St. Peter’s Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese, on November 23, 2015,  hosted an interfaith service during which the Moslem god, Allah, was invoked.

Besides that, and other Moslem references, a woman was allowed to read the Gospel.

controversial interfaith service

Monday Mass

Considering how controversial Islam has always been, this service must have raised quite a large number of eyebrows.  According to all I’ve been reading about the service, and the comments on Mr. De Souza’s page, Bishop Joseph Bambera may have quite a difficult time explaining the decision to allow such an event.