3-28-2003 Taylor Kate

It’s been a busy 36 hours or so. I just got back from the shadow of the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville to find my smooth street, Thompson Street, paved even though it didn’t need to be paved. Whatever, the asphalt for votes program is in full, election year hyper-drive, no matter what it means to the city‘s finances. Our day started very early this morning, so I didn’t even have time to access the Voice or Leader web sites from abroad. While it was awesome visiting Scott, Peace and Gage Andrew at their home in Pottsville as we counted the hours before Peace’s going under the knife rather than being able to deliver a child naturally, I felt as if I was missing something without my computer, my scanner and WILK. I felt that, but we had more important things to do in Pottsville.

So, I get home today to see that asphalt was wasted on a street that did not need to be paved and I downloaded the 46 pictures I took while away. Then I checked my e-mail that was dominated by folks being totally outraged by talk of Blondie and pyramids in the local papers. I immediately read both the Voice and Leader web sites.

Pyramids? The folks that are responsible for $5 million holes are talking of Pyramids? The pyramids rise into the sky. The mayor’s most noteworthy accomplishment, the Holeplex, resembles an archeological dig of an ancient dog catcher’s burial site. Pyramids n Wilkes-Barre? Our failure of a mayor and his band of less than employable cronies that hang from his bottomless, taxpayer inflated teat are well beyond sounding stupid-they are getting desperate and embarrassingly ridiculous. Pyramids? In Wilkes-Barre? I should have stayed in fu*king Pottsville!

I love the quote I snagged from the Leader story. Abdu, in his infinite wisdom, speaks of pyramids:

"They didn't build the pyramids with 600 smart guys," Keatts told a reporter, summoned to the phone. "They had 599 rock pilers and one smart guy who told them where to pile the rocks."

Abdu obviously recognizes greatness and knows what it takes to build a pyramid. Or does he?

Published on September 6, 2001, Page 13A, Times Leader, The (Wilkes Barre, PA)


WILKES-BARRE - After city employees ruptured a PG Energy gas line Wednesday morning, officials decided to make it a point to check with utilities before digging holes for sign posts, said City Administrator/Clerk Bill Brace. Abdu Keatts and Timothy Pearce ruptured the service line at 21 Oliver St. while installing a handicapped sign for Cynthia Falzone, Brace said. ``The city of Wilkes-Barre does not normally check for utility lines when doing sign work in the tree lawns,...''

Pyramids? These incompetents never even called Pennsylvania One Call! How does that ad go? Call before you drill, auger or dig? Pyramids? Pyramids? The mayor and his merry band of myrmidons couldn’t operate a set of Legos to save their lives!

Abdu, stick to something you’re good at. I don’t know...garbage, gas leaks or sucking-up! If the city needs to do a water-cooled core drill again-call a professional. I’d be glad to teach you something.

And what’s up with this “Blondie” nonsense? The mayor questions the private lives of others, which has resulted in a million dollar defamation suit, but it seems to me that ever since he became aware of the fact that he was roundly hated by he residents of Wilkes-Barre-he has used his “beloved” Blondie as nothing more than a re-election prop. That’s my opinion. McDagwood thinks that Blondie is another reason that we should vote for four more years of destruction and obfuscation? The lunacy has to end.

I’m watching the traffic out back. It is completely snarled from the Boulevard down the length of Butler and south around the corner onto Penn Avenue. Why? Because the election grows near. Someone, I suspect it was McWilkesDOTT, who decided to pave one block of North Street during the Friday, 5 o’clock rush hour. The man who thinks nothing of excessive weekend overtime and excessive double-time pay, had to pave that short stretch of pummeled road when we would notice the most-when we were the most inconvenienced by it.

Nothing is done to benefit the city anymore. Nothing is done to actually benefit the residents. Everything that is done now is a political calculation intended to benefit one person-our failed mayor. Wilkes-Barre doesn’t matter to him, only his continued free ride at the taxpayers expense. Twenty years in elected office? The only thing he has erected, his only “Pyramid” is that mirror on Scott Street.

Speaking of Scott Street, what’s up with the Scott Street Bridge replacement that has taken one full year and amounted to nothing more than a major street being closed? We were told that the entire stalled project was almost fully funded by the federal and state governments. So what’s the hold-up? Was this press release pig nothing more than another fib? Thompson Street was paved today, while Scott Street is still a detour for motorists? Fess up McFib!

Welcome back Mark!

This city is very close to screwed.

Whatever. We rolled on into Pottsville and spent the night in Gage Andrew’s environs. The little dude was really jazzed up. I don’t think he’s ever had this much company before, excepting the day he and his mom and dad moved into their comfy ranch. He’s borderline hyperactive at times to begin with and last night he ran almost completely amok, while we all thoroughly enjoyed his nonstop antics. He displayed his reckless Rocking Horse skills on the horsey that his dad’s dad built for his dad 22 years ago or so.

Go! Go!

I kinda felt bad for Peace last night. Knowing full well what she was facing at 6 a.m. the following morning, she reviewed her well-prepared checklists with us for getting Gage Andrew through his first ever day that didn’t begin and end with the sight of her face. She knew that Gage was in experienced, capable and loving hands, but being the thoroughly amazing mommy that she is-she pressed on. Scott and I visited downtown Pottsville (Yeah, they actually have one) and secured some Coors Light and lots of pizza pies from the Pottsville Pizzeria.

Not too bad!

During and after the pizza party, Gage ran the chicks assembled upstairs into the ground, while us guys headed down to the basement for some X-Box and some online reading. Guess which one I was doing? Eventually, the little dude ran out of gas and grudgingly accepted the fact that it was Binky (pacifier) time and his mommy tucked him into his mini-bed with his Maglite. That’s another story entirely. Some toddlers love Teddy bears. Others love their Maglites. Anyway, it was getting late.

Nite Nite

I read the latest from the middle east and headed back upstairs. Still, Peace was re-visiting her checklists, where the packed bags were, what we should feed Gage for breakfast and how we should de-dog the house before heading to the hospital in the morning. She was obviously exhausted and faced major surgery in the morning, but she wouldn’t or couldn’t turn it off. Wifey and I finally convinced her that she should retire for the night because the 5 a.m. alarm was not that far off. She hit the water bed, while we hit the basement futon.

I can’t say that I slept well on that thing, but I practically jumped out of ‘bed’ at the first sound in the morning. By the time I had my first cup of “English Blend” poured, Peace was already at the hospital and being prepped for surgery. The remainder of our gang arrived at the maternity ward waiting room at 7:32 a.m., precisely the time of Peace’s surgery.

We waited. And we waited. And we waited some more. Scott started looking very nervous and began pacing. I took Gage downstairs to the lobby area and we wandered around for quite some time so as to not add to his dad’s growing anxiety. We headed back upstairs to hear the good news. The news was that an emergency cesarean section had taken precedence over the delivery of the long awaited amazing granddaughter. Perfectly understandable, but DARN! Since Scott fainted dead away when Peace was prepped for surgery for Gage’s entry into the world, it was decided that wifey, Dr. Cour, would stay with Peace during this entire affair. They were already in that surgery prep room for well over two and a half hours.

CNN time

Scott was looking a little harried at this point and asked the desk nurse if his wife was okay. Her answer was courteous, but basically the long version of “I don’t know.” He paced faster now. We re-assured him and advised him that Peace wasn’t even under the knife yet. He continued to appear very, very worried. Through all of this, Gage was quite the trooper. Consider the fact that his daily routine went out the window when we showed up at his house. All of a sudden, he had a house full of company out of the blue. The very next morning, he wakes up for the very first time without his mommy there to tend to his needs. Instead, he has this horde of folks coaxing him to eat some cereal while it was obvious that he never was going to. Then he is changed and dressed by Ebon, who had never done this for him before. Then we cart him off to the hospital and hope that he behaves. He did. For three hours he scampered and played and probed and pointed and tried to stick a cars’ ignition key in an electrical outlet. Despite the fact that his routine, the only routine he has ever known was completely dashed-he was amazing.

Finally, at 9:45 a.m., a nurse advised us that it was Go Time. Peace and wifey actually had to stand down during a second emergency cesarean section. Scott was pacing away faster than ever and looking almost scared. I headed back down to the lobby and secured some chewing gum for him. He gladly chomped away. This thing had dragged on so long that now even I (whatever) was beginning to pace. It would have been so much easier to show up at 7:30 a.m., wait a half hour or so and see the newest family member. Here we were two and a half hours later and everyone seemed somehow tenser after the long wait. That last twenty minutes seemed like an entire day. Scott looked as if he was about to peel away his own skin if the good and happy ending word didn’t come down already. Thankfully, at about 10:10 a.m., we got the good word, “It’s a girl” from a member of the nursing staff. They wheeled her out for the entire entourage to see.

Taylor Kate

They quickly wheeled her into the nursery and checked all of those parts that are supposed to be included. We all pressed toward the nursery window and gawked for a spell, while a few tears flowed. After a few congrats, high fives and lots of pictures, Scott announced that he needed some air. He looked to me to be a little more than shaken by the arrival of his daughter, my amazing granddaughter. I decided to tag along with him, just in case, down to the courtyard smoking area where we blazed away for a spell. I was surprised at how long it took before a feeling of relief finally came over him, which leads me to speculate that Scott and Peace will not be delivering anymore amazing grandchildren. He’s a tad squeamish and displays more emotion than I will ever be capable of, but it’s obvious to me that he loves my daughter and his children more then anything else. He may faint at the sight of blood, puke when faced with the thought of surgery and pace with glazed eyes before the needle ever meets the spine, but this is the second time that I’ve watched him reduced to a mass of barely controlled nerve endings when he thought that anything bad might happen to my daughter. He loves her.

Yeah, he sucked it up and we headed back up to the fourth floor. Peace was headed to the recovery room, so we had a couple of hours to kill and headed back to the homestead for some leftover pizza from the night before. Gage ate, ran amok and wrestled with Scott’s sister. Scott’s mom fired-away with the video recorder. Wifey and I talked and knew that what Peace would need the most now was some rest-hopefully sleep. We cleaned up and packed up our stuff and we all headed back to the hospital. We stopped at the gift shop and bought a pile of some actually nifty stuff. We waited for a spell, but eventually joined Peace in her room for some pics with the amazing granddaughter. Peace was weak, dizzy and could not stop throwing up. We did the pics, said our “I love yous” and turned down the lights and advised her to get some sleep. She did not argue with that approach.

I wheeled the new addition back to the nursery and then headed back to Peace’s room. I told her “ I love you, ya’ done good.” We agreed that she needed to sleep and I kissed her on the forehead. I felt somehow guilty driving back to Wilkes-Barre and leaving her there in that condition, but what she really needs is lots of rest and not her dad hanging around. Her committed husband will take care of her as he always has. The amazing grandson, whether he knows it or not, is now a big brother and I’ll teach him to watch out for his lil’ sister, Taylor Kate.

In my less than objective opinion, the amazing grandchildren are predictably amazing when one considers the amazing parents they came from-Scott and Peace.


Amazing Granddaughter

It’s been a long couple of days.

Very rewarding days.