Monday, October 14, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2537, October 14th, 2013

The late Mike Onley. (Photo: Citizen's Voice) 


Sunday was a busy day of work for me regarding this site as well as some other projects I’m involved in politically and book wise. So when my friend L.A. Tarone spoke of the 10th murder in Wilkes Barre, I didn’t catch all of it except it was a deejay that was killed. A little later on in the afternoon, as things calmed down, I learned the name of the deejay was “Deejay Mo”. Again, I’m so far removed from the club and music scene that it just didn’t register. Then as the day wore on, in my head I kept on putting the initials in my head and I thought, “Oh God, please let it not be my co worker Mike Onley”. My worst fears were confirmed when I checked the Times Leader website and saw the story Then I checked the great communication tool of this era, Facebook and found many of my co workers talking about the death of Mike Onley, aka “Deejay Mo”
I first met Mike when he began to work in the same area as I did. When he first started talking, the speech patterns, the diction, the delivery, I knew this was a radio guy. At that point we began to swap radio stories as well as how that medium could reach people of all ages.
Mike also shared with me his deejay business and how during a special occasion, he would provide for a fee a simple bottle of wine and rose to cap the evening off. When I told him that with that move he should be an honorary “godfather” to the many long term romantic results of that gesture, he just shook his head and laughed.
What I liked about Mike was that he was understated. On some days, a friendly nod would suffice instead of a hello. He was always ready to help. Big or small. Earlier this year when I was in the middle of my medical situation, when I would be dressing to leave, I’d be struggling trying to put my jacket on. As he was working and speaking on the phone, Mike would quietly, simultaneously reach out his arm and lift my coat so I could get my arm in that jacket hole. Mike saw the struggle in people and reacted. Without fanfare and without expectation of recognition.
Mike got engaged on August 15th and was ready to move into a new cycle of his life. From all accounts his outside activities were thriving and he had legions of people looking up to him. I think the bond we had inside work was what we both did on the outside in terms of our other activities. One day he said, “This place is too small to contain us”.
The last time I talked to Mike was Friday. The company bought us lunch and as I was leaving, I started to pack up my cooler of beverages for the next week. He looked at me arranging the cans of Diet Coke, Tab, V8 and Snapple, and said, “Are you tailgating today?” “Nope”, I replied, just gearing up for next week. He just shook his head as if to say, “Silly old fart”. But he didn’t. He just smiled with that “live and let live, do what you want to do smile”.
When I came to work today, I opened up that cooler and I stopped cold. My co worker Mike Onley was gone. There was a stillness at work today. As I settled in at my desk, the only sound was someone heaving with a horrendous cough. Other than that, there was silence. When the office started to buzz, we were just going through the motions. A coworker said in a low voice, “This doesn’t seem right today without him here”. I replied, “It will take more than today to get over this”.


Mike Onley was a man of peace. He died a violent death. If anything good can come out of this tragedy, there has to be a reconfiguration of how we fight gun violence in Wilkes Barre.
First: We can’t take guns away but we can figure out who has them illegally or gets them that way.
Second: They say this was a drive by. That means that in my estimation this was not a random act. Why pick “Outsiders”? This was someone or somebodys who targeted for whatever reason a city bar. At some point, the shooter will reveal themselves unintentionally. That’s what cowards and punks do. Somewhere down the road, there will be chest thumping on this. People in youth communities know what is happening. When the information comes out, responsible people who hear it need to contact the authorities.
Third: I know the police force is overworked. But there should be a dedicated crime unit that patrols the perimeters of the downtown city bars. Even if it means traffic checks in and around the area, so be it. The decision was made a few years ago to revitalize the downtown and bring in entertainment places for people of Mike Onley’s age. The trade off for that success in business should not be the death of a guy walking to his car. We owe that much to the patrons.
Fourth: There has to be more of an embracement of Crime Watch groups, as well as Community Watch programs. Maybe even a undercover unit to weed out the criminals among us. You can’t tell me that the drive by occupants just did this on a whim, as a prank. There has to be an answer in here somewhere.
Another co worker of mine had on her IM message today, “MO –tivated by Deejay Mo.”
In the coming days there will be flowers, glowing tributes, media coverage as well as tears for the loss of this life cut way too short. But the best tribute of all is if we can make sense out of this death by “MOtivating” ourselves as a community to find a way to stop this senseless violence against peace loving people. There are solutions but until we find a will, there will not be a way. And Mike Onley deserves better than that.
Astronaut Scott Carpenter accepting call from President Kennedy after his flight in 1962. (Photo: John F. Kennedy Library.) 


One of the original 7 astronauts Scott Carpenter died the other day at age 88. Carpenter made history in May of 1962 by piloting Aurora 7 around the earth three times. Carpenter later on became involved in SEALAB II, he spent 28 days living on the ocean floor off the coast of California. Carpenter’s death leaves John Glenn as the last surviving member of the Original 7.


Wilkes Barre Area School Board candidate Kathy Grinaway was on the L.A. Tarone show this past Sunday. GRinaway had a conversation about why she needs to be elected to the School Board. Grinaway has never been employed nor has her family ever been employed by the Wilkes Barre Area School District. The Democrat is on ballot position 4 in the November 5th election. 
Click to enlarge the photo above to look at a key fundraiser for local veterans.


At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice tribute for a man taken away too soon.
You are correct, somehow there has to be a way to invade the criminal element that has taken over the streets of Wilkes Barre.
I also liked the fact you remembered Scott Carpenter.

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences on the loss of your friend Dave.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Junction said...

Dave, as John Lennon's song states. "Let peace begin with me". With the senseless shooting of Mike Onley maybe peace will begin with him.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, the best tribute you can make to a guy like Deejay Mo is to get out from behind the keyboard and RUN for office.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Yonki did run for Mayor, he'd be a breath of fresh air. But you have to live and breath politics. Even though he has lived in Wilkes Barre the last 30 years, he is an outsider.
The same four families control Wilkes Barre.


Post a Comment

<< Home