The LuLac Edition #1376, Nov. 18th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: A SCENE FROM DALE KRIDLO'S FUNERAL COURTESY JOE VALENTI, SENATORS MUSTO AND MELLOW EMBRACING ON THE SENATE FLOOR THIS WEEK, THE UPSIDE DOWN GOP LOGO AND OUR 1966 LOGO.
I really haven’t said much about the death of Dale Kridlo because to be frank I have been trying to process this terrible loss. While each one of us appreciates the service of all of our military, it never has a concert impact unless you know someone in the service. When I was growing up, two people I knew went off to the Army. My neighbor Barry Prandy and my cousin Francis Zujkowski. Barry wound up in Germany in the Air Force and Francis wound up in Vietnam in the Army. A few years later the two kids I grew up with in the Junction, Bruce Prandy also went into the Army while John Chedrick went off to the Air Force. When it’s close, it hits home. I never knew Dale Kridlo but I knew his family all of my life. And as I sat working one night on some writing projects, I shuddered when I heard Candace Kelly say the name Kridlo. As anyone can attest, the Junction in Pittston is a unique place. There's a saying “You can take the kid out of the Junction but you can’t take the Junction out of the kid”. When I heard this young man was killed, it was like a kick in the head. Even though I never knew Dale, I knew the family. Dale’s grandmother Alberta was a frequent visitor to our living room every time my mother had a quilting party. Every few months, the ladies of Cliff, Union., Dewitt and Chapel Streets gathered and sat toiling with needles making quilts. Mrs. Kridlo was one of them and always joined in the conversation which included news about recipes, politics and strategies for watching us kids in the neighborhood. Alberta and Al lived across the street on Cliff from the Yonki family homestead. Al Kridlo served as Pittston City Councilman for about twenty years. For a few years I had his campaign poster hanging in my room next to Bart Starr, Vince Lombardi, Clete Boyer, the Beatles, Ronnie Dove, Jack and bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. (I wanted him to sign it but my father told me I’d look like an ass so I never asked him). But what was great about Councilman Kridlo was the fact that we never called him by that title. He was “Al”. As I got older and got involved in politics as a campaigner for other candidates the conversations “Al” and I would have were just plain fascinating. I went to St. John the Baptist Grade School with Renee and Debbie. I remember walking the Union Street Hill every day after school. discussing the pluses and minuses of the Slovak nuns. Albert Kridlo, Dale’s dad was a bit older having been a football standout on the 1967 Champion Patriots team. Albert used to ride around in the summer with his dad when Al worked for a beer company driving a truck. I think my late grandfather singlehandedly got raises for all the Kaier’s employees with his weekly order. Dale’s grandfather, Al and his brother William aka “Tricky" (which by the way is one of the great nicknames of all time) served as ushers at St. John the Baptist Church. It is ironic that on the hallowed ground where “the Baptist” stood, hundreds gathered to honor Dale Kridlo. Knowing that he died made it sad for me and the family. But hearing that a bunch of so called religious zealots were going to protest the funeral in the name of Christ enraged me. The fact that this young man's sacrifice would be vilified made this very personal for me. On the day Dale Kridlo’s funeral Mass was said, people who were Methodists, Baptists, Greek Catholics, Buddhists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Calvary, Jews, Zions, Evangelicals, Assembly of God, Muslims, New Life Fellowship, Atheists, Ukrainian Greek, 7th Day Adventists, Orthodox Jews and other sects stood in silent tribute to a fallen hero. In the meantime, the so called Christians were not seen. Some say they never showed up. A few others said they came and then like cowards turned tale and ran when they saw the true children of God. See, you don’t dishonor one’s military service and his religious beliefs. You don’t defile his memory by staging a protest that in its kindest description could be classified as insane. You don’t do that in Pittston and you certainly don’t try that with someone from The Junction. We take things like that personally.
HERE WE GO
It is unreal but it didn’t take long for the House GOP to rear its ugly head and try to deny unemployment benefits for people without work right before Christmas. If I hear one more time how extending these benefits will be a burden to our children and grandchildren, I think I will puke. Most of these Congressman are millionaires and their heirs if they grow up unspoiled and sober will not have to worry about money. Unemployment benefits will cost us 12 billion dollars. That money will go back into the economy buying things like groceries and clothes. The extension of the Bush tax cuts will cost over 7 billion. But that’s okay because the Republicans can give the money to their fat cat friends. We are in for it. Paul Kanjorski once told me local taxes will go up when these cut happy GOPers start slashing services that local government will have to pick up. The opening volley of what the New Congress will do has been fired and if you think the Republicans are on the side of the little guy, you need your head examined.
House Democrats elected Nancy Pelosi to remain as their leader this week despite massive party losses in this month's congressional elections that prompted some lawmakers to call for new leadership. Pelosi, the nation's first female House speaker, will become minority leader when Republicans assume the majority in the new Congress in January. She defeated moderate Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, 150-43, in secret balloting in a lengthy closed-door gathering of House Democrats in the Capitol. I think this is a good move. The Republicans can’t vilify or lie anymore about her and the Democrats need someone to object to the party that is hellbent on destroying the middle class. And the sad part about it, the party of “no” has the consent of the middle class that think the GOP is one of them. Yeah next time they invite you to an exclusive golf club or to a soiree call me. You’re more likely to see a spaceship land in Minooka sooner than you see that. Pelosi will keep them honest. And I don’t think she gives a crap what the GOP says and does to her.
WEST WARD HO
The pendulum has swung back to the Western part of the state with the election of new Pa. House leaders. Swept out of office were long standing eastern politicos. The minority party’s floor leader for the 2011-12 legislative session will be Rep. Frank Dermody of Allegheny County, who has served as whip for the past year. He is a Clarks Summit native. Rep. Michael K. Hanna Sr., D-Clinton, won the closed-door secret-ballot vote for whip. Philadelphian Dwight Evans was replaced as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a job he has held for 20 years. Rep. Joe Markosek of Allegheny County, most recently the Transportation Committee chairman, will be the ranking Democrat on Appropriations. Rep. Mark Cohen of Philadelphia, the caucus chairman, was defeated by Rep. Dan Frankel of Allegheny County, leaving Philadelphia and its suburbs shut out of the leadership contests.
MUSTO AND MELLOW ERA ENDS
After a combined 68 years in the State Senate, Ray Musto and Robert Mellow called it quits. Both men spent their last sessions in Harrisburg. Both were considered Senate institutions. No matter what controversy dogged them, they both did good things for LuLac land. We wish them good health and rest in their retirement from public service.
THE BRISTOL STOMP
A rural Wisconsin man blasted his television set with a shotgun after watching Bristol Palin's "Dancing with the Stars" routine Monday night, saying he was fed up with politics and Palin wasn't a very good dancer, according to court documents. Steven Cowan, 67, of the town of Vermont, about 15 miles west of Madison, then pointed the gun at his wife, 66-year-old Janice Cowan, who escaped and called police, authorities said. A SWAT team surrounded the couple's farmhouse, and officers were able to talk Cowan out Tuesday morning after an all-night standoff. Cowan had been drinking before he sat down to watch "Dancing with the Stars" Jeez ya think?
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
In Togo, the army crushes an attempted coup...... The Beatles begin recording sessions for their landmark Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album............In Vancouver, the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeat the Ottawa Rough Riders to win the 54th Grey Cup………………….In Pennsylvania it is revealed by the State Republican committee that one of their first choices for filling the Lt. Governor’s slot in May of ’66 after the death of then candidate Walter Alessandroni was 10th District Congressman Joseph McDade. McDade declined the invitation and went on to win another term against Councilman Neil Trama…in Luzerne County a prison riot was quelled when guards stopped three inmates trying to incite the riot over radio privileges and 44 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was…….Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”. Ruffin was the brother of Temptation lead singer David Ruffin and edged out the Supremes for the number 1 spot.