2-25-2004 The defender of the conservative faith in W-B?

It's about politics ... an attempt to drive a wedge between one group of citizens and the rest of the country solely for partisan advantage.Ted Kennedy, reacting to Dubya's request for an amendment banning same-sex marriage

He's funny.

It's the end of the world as we know it. I feel fine. Can't Afford to Lose

Check this e-mail:

Just for the record...THEY SELL BOOZE AT DISNEYWORLD...
Your bud,

Doesn't that just beat all? You can get wired in front of the kids at Disneyworld, but not in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania. I've never been there. Way too 'spensive. When I worked for Friendly's (Ugh), a co-worker of mine took his daughter there and they wandered into the nearby Friendly's for a little breakfast one morning. I don't remember exactly, but if an average check for one breakfast entree here in Wilkes-Barre was $3.50 at that time, it was easily double that at the Disneyworld Friendly's. 7 bucks for freakin' pancakes? You can count me out. I don't even wanna guess as to how much a beer might cost in that park. I was wondering, do the plastic beer cups have tiny mouse ears protruding from the rims?

If I'm gonna cough up 7 bucks for anything, a beer, a pretzel, name it...I wanna see someone hit a fastball 400 feet.

Rutro! Another BOLO alert from the populace via the e-mail inbox:

******* Congratulations beautiful downtown Brookside.
You've got yourself a major drug house!
31 E. Chestnut Street
Bet there wasn't any tenant background checks going on there.
These landlords have to be held responsible for destroying our neighborhoods.

Any suggestions ?*******

I've got a couple of suggestions, but I'm fairly certain they are mostly illegal. I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but for the folks that don't get involved at all, calling 826-8106 and asking for the detectives division would be a great place to start. It worked for me and resulted in a huge drug bust. Rather than calling SAYSO and bitching about our cops, more folks should try approaching them and actually work with them. They know the bad guys are here and they're none too happy about it either. Got dope on your street? Give 'em a buzz.

We're going to congregate here at the adobe for Taylor Kate's first birthday party. It's hard to believe that a year has passed already. She was born in Pottsville on March 28, 2003 and we spent the day down there waiting for her arrival. After her big premiere, we kissed her mom on the forehead and headed home. She needed rest more than she needed any of our bullspit.

Upon our arrival back here at Thompson street, we found the street cordoned off and freshly paved. At that sad point in time, the paving of our smaller alleys and trails for votes was in full swing. Our street didn't even need to be repaved, but repaved it was. The paving of this street was a joke and I publicly said so at the time. I was later told by a candidate for elected office that I didn't appreciate anything our former mayor did. To be perfectly frank, I'm still trying to figure out what he actually did for eight years. Thompson street has a fresh coat of asphalt, while much of the rest of the city lies in shambles. Ungrateful bastard, ain't I?

So, Taylor will be a year-old soon, which means that our nifty new asphalt is rapidly approaching it's first birthday also. Grab your silly looking party hat.

I wandered down the street over the weekend only to find that someone called Pennsylvania One Call. We've got white spray paint here and there, which means it's safe to excavate those areas. We've got yellow paint identifying gas lines, and we've got red paint warning the excavators of power lines, and, or, cable lines. In other words, our brand spanking new asphalt is about to be sliced and diced by one of our local utility companies. What am I supposed to take from that? Is this another example of one hand not knowing what the other is doing? Or should this semi-cul-de-sac have never been paved in the first place? You got me, man.

Whatever. After a couple of winters pass, we'll enjoy our home-grown potholes just like the rest of ya.

Mayor Tom Leighton has been very, very hesitant to promise us anything constructed mainly of brick and mortar. He is very cautious with his words and will not build expectations that he can't deliver upon. His approach to reality stands in stark contrast to what we grew accustomed to for the past eight years. I like that about him and I appreciate being told where we're at exactly, rather than being sold some phoney bill of goods. If it's bad, tell us. If it's good, do likewise. That's what should have been happening here in the past.

I explored today's Voice and was quickly confronted by this:

Leighton said that project negotiations have been going well, and that they're close to reaching an agreement.

"We basically worked out all the problems," said Leighton. "I'm confident that the City of Wilkes-Barre and RC Theatres will be doing business."

According to Leighton, the city hopes to be showing movies downtown by spring 2005, maybe even Christmas of this year.

Being the cautious sort that he is, he might drive up here and start throwing punches at me for offering my opinion on the matter of the proposed theatre, but what I'm reading this morning suggests to me that the theatre is a done deal. Done.

And then there's this from today's Leader:

Leighton told council he is going to Harrisburg today to seek state funding for several planned projects. After the meeting, the mayor said the projects include new storm drains and police station repairs.

Hmmm. Does anyone ever remember any politico announcing that they had secured state, or federal funding to replace a roof? And a small one at that?

Correct me if I'm wrong, which many of you eagerly do, but I thought that the Liquid Fuel Funds sent to us by the state already covered the replacement of storm drains.

Is Tom Leighton in Harrisburg looking for storm drain funding, or is something else going on? I will not speculate further, but I'm hoping that upon his return Wilkes-Barre, a press conference will be necessary. For him to be taking about movies in Wilkes-Barre being a possibility by Christmas 2004 is a serious departure from his close-to-the-vest approach to promising us anything.

Is great news on it's way?

I sure hope so.

Heyna, or freakin' what? An e-mail that has even me scratching my head for an explanation.

*******Prolific One,

Please do not take this the wrong way. I have been reading your ramblings for well over two years and I have enjoyed having done so. You are a mental case bordering on genius in a very fun sort of way. Here's my problem with you. When stacked against your present beliefs and political leanings your life experiences as you have so vividly described them are a conundrum of the tallest order. As you so often say, let me see if I've got this straight.

You were raised without a legitimate father figure. As a small child, you were kidnapped and separated from your mother for more than a year. Your step-dad used you and your siblings to sharpen his boxing skills. You were raised on welfare throughout your teen years. You scoff at the benefits of a higher education. While not poor, it's obvious that you are not a jet-setter either. You became pregnant at a very young age when you could least afford to do so.

You smoke cigarettes while being an avid cyclist. You seem proud to call yourself a beer drinker, yet, you are also proud of the fact that you do not have an once of fat on your frame. Rock and Roll seems to be far more important to you than religion, but you tell us that the 10 Commandments should be obeyed. From what I've been told by someone who has known you for years, you have much more money invested in the recordings of Frank Zappa, an avowed leftie, than I have invested in my sizable 401K.

From where I'm sitting, none of this should add up to your being the defender of the conservative faith in Wilkes-Barre. If I had never read a single word you typed, but had been told all of the details of your life-I would have envisioned the ultimate poster boy for the democrats and their liberal agenda.

In conclusion, let me say that I look forward to reading your latest thoughts every morning. I am also mystified by the enigma that you are. Keep it coming.

TXX SXXXX********

Jesus H....whoops. Today is the wrong day for that exclamation. There's way too many folks wandering about with smudges on their foreheads today and they are chomping at the bit to see a cinematic portrayal of a biblical execution. Yikes!

Enigma? You tell me, man. It is what it is. Why is it, or how is it that we become what we become? It's probably our unique brain chemistry, or some other factor that we'll never fully understand.

Upon further review, thanks entirely to your e-mail, I guess I've had a treasure trove of influences while I made my way from boyhood to jerkhood. Sure. My life was not the inspiration behind the Donna Reed Show, but in hindsight-it wasn't all that bad. Not all of us can attend Harvard, and not all of us can feel screwed-over after recieving a used Porsche on our sixteenth birthday. Some of us learned to take a punch at a very early age, and others among us didn't. Some of us suffered the near suffocating indignity of being a lowly welfare brat, and most others did not. For some of us, it took years upon years to escape the sometimes crushing self-conscienceness that being poor or somewhat dysfunctional nearly always provides. For many others, the escape from abject poverty, endless marital discord, and the obvious pitfalls they provide never materialized.

When I consider all of the stories of the folks that couldn't manage to rise above the limitations that they faced-I feel lucky. Almost blessed.

I was lucky enough to be raised by a great mom, and two loving grandparents. What they may have lacked in education, they more than made up for in common sense, and a view of the world as being black and white. No gray areas, mostly right and wrong. They were very, very demanding. They pushed and prodded me for years on end, and I honestly feel as if I've failed them to some extent. The guilt that accompanies every funeral should not last 15 years, but somehow it has.

Was my journey a weird one? No doubt. Was there much I could do to change it way back when? Nope. But...I had a chip on my shoulder that would crush most people and that chip resulted in many a fist being thrown in anger. These days, I prefer to believe that I'm older, wiser, and finally content with the cards I've been dealt. Call me in twenty years and we'll see that if still rings true.

How could such a complete screwball possibly be a conservative?

Ready? Because I'm smart. That's why.

Listen to me...LOFL.

Phillips told Mrs. Cour she must maintain an adequate home for her son.

Despite her scant resources and lack of education, she never wavered from that responsibility.

Was she a conservative mom? Is that where I get it from?

I think so. And I miss her so. And who's that dude hanging on the wall behind her?

January 1963

The defender of the conservative faith in Wilkes-Barre? I gotta tell ya, if that's me, I'm somewhat pleased by how I turned out. Somewhat.