Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2712, August 13th, 2014

Our “13 Questions” logo.


1. Dave everyone seemed to be buzzing about the late Kevin McGroarty’s obituary. Did you know him and what did you think of the final bow he took?

I heard of him but I never had the opportunity to meet him. Many people assume I did but I think we missed each other at various media outlets. I salute him for his spirit, his work with the State Police Boot Camp and other charitable endeavors. As I said I never met him.
On the obituary, here are my thoughts and I must tell you they are conflicting. When I first read it, the first thing that popped into my mind was “This guy isn’t married”. Unless it’s a wife that has prior knowledge of it and consents. When I had cancer, I had an obit prepared and there were some things in there Mrs. LuLac said she would edit. (Ironic since I do edit on this blog and get criticism for that).
The next thought I had was, “Wow, I wish I wrote this”. The reaction to it was swift and popular. As a former advertising guy, McGroarty would have wished he got that type of coverage for his clients. He was on AOL, Newswatch 16 a few times, WBRE and other radio outlets like WILK and The Sports Hub. His funeral also made the news. To me it was a public relations triumph and a fitting end to a guy who used and loved media for a living.
McGroarty went out the way he wanted to. And for that he should be celebrated.
That said, after thinking about it, I had a different take on it. Personally, (and this is only me here) I don’t think death is something to screw with. I don’t think in death you owe anyone a last laugh. Death is not something you entertain people with. I’m in the minority here, a very tiny minority but I think the end game he chose overshadowed the things he did in life. To me it almost cheapened his accomplishments. Now thank heavens his friends were around to explain the persona that was Kevin McGroarty. But years from now, they won’t be around to tell his story. And people looking at this on line will only see the comedic bow he took at the end and not the significant life he led. Again, my opinion only.

2. You’ve been getting a lot of blow back for your stand on Israel, especially on Face book. Why are you so pro Israel?

Here’s why. Those Gaza sites exist because Israel gave them away. Israel in its existence as a nation has never been the aggressor. Their destruction has been planned and executed many times over. By war, by animalistic terrorism (I give you the 1972 Munich Olympics) and the constant attack on their safety. They have every right to fight back with everything they have. And then some. If women and children die, you lay that at the feet of Hamas who use them as human shields. How about those tunnels too! Imagine the food, clothing and education Hamas could have given to their people instead of building those concrete tunnels. The definition of insanity is doing the something over and over. When will the Muslim world learn that if you screw with Israel, they’ll obliterate you time and time again. I am proudly, (and have been since 1967) pro Israel.

3. I heard you on WILK with Tarone. You guys are pretty engaging. Do his veins bulge when he starts getting excited?

Frightening so.

4. What did you think of the big trades at the baseball deadline at the end of July?

I was excited, it reminded me of baseball when I was a kid. I think every team, especially Oakland and Detroit were big winners adding pitching.

5. As children we had heroes like Superman and Spiderman. Are there any action heroes on TV you wish you could be?

Yes. 24’s Jack Bauer. I have not seen the first installment. Ms. LuLac is efforting to borrow that set or obtain it. But this recent series was incredible. What I like about Bauer is if he sees no need for a trial, and if the evidence is overwhelming, he just kills the guy. George Banks wouldn’t make it off Monroe Street if Jack Bauer was around.

6. There is a great deal of talk about the reemergence of MItt Romney. On LuLac the Professor who posts as well as you called it. Do you think it will happen?

Well we are about a year out from the 2016 primary season. A lot could happen. But the GOP is in the place right now where the Democrats were in 2008. There is an embattled incumbent President that won a second term that has not turned out very well. The GOP mainstream wants to reclaim the White House. Guys like former party chair Haley Barbour know they can’t do it with Ted Cruz who has infuriated members of his own party. They won’t do it with Kentucky’s Rand Paul or Florida’s Marco Rubio because either are not considered electable or conservatively pure. Jeb Bush has two things going against him, one is the fact that people don’t want another Bush in the White House (a thought echoed by his own mother) and his stand on immigration. Romney the rich guy with the car elevator now has bonafides he never had before that will appeal to Americans. He has been knocked down and how Americans love a guy who has been down and has gotten back up. All you need in a campaign ad is a shot of him pumping his own gas that was shown on TV last fall. It is no surprise that there is talk of Romney. However if he does reenter the race, look for the brickbats to begin toward him. But keep in mind Ronald Reagan ran and lost twice before he got the nomination and became President.

7. How would you describe the second administration of the Luzerne County Council?

To be fair, I think everyone on Council is trying to do their very best in terms of what they believe. This Council in its core beliefs are more segmented so sometimes reasonable compromise just doesn’t happen. I think that there are some members who go out of their way to be confrontational with the County Manager and that’s not a good thing. Until they vote him out, he’s the guy. The next election for Council will be very interesting to watch.

8. Any thoughts on the closing of the local Travelocity office and is it true that some of the managers in your book "Weather Or Knot" were based on management there?

At the start, Travelocity was very good to me. I won many trips as a sales person and most of the people in supervisory positions knew what they were doing. I wish the remaining group there well. But I’m not sorry to see that annoying Gnome retired. And yes some of the characters in the book were based on some of the less than stellar supervisors I met there.

9. What do you think of the Scranton commuter tax option?

It is a move, like many previous Scranton bailout moves marked for failure. Scranton needs a one term Mayor who will have the guts to make the hard choices. Think about this: if you have a child graduating college the year, their entire lifespan was spent with Scranton being a distressed city. How sad is that! Three Mayors in nearly two and half decades couldn’t get Scranton in shape. Here’s where I would start. Garbage bags, end the fees. Hire a professional collection agency to collect the back taxes. See how much you collect and then dig out of the hole from there. You can’t attack debt head on because it will seem like an impossible task but if you chip away at it…’ll see a good outcome. And I bet that one term pledge will turn into a long run for the man or woman with the guts to try it.

10. Way back in the mid-70's Bob Woody and I spent a couple of hours in his Scranton office discussing an idea I had for a radio show. He was interesting, funny, professional AND respectful. Most importantly everything we spoke about never left that office (maybe the concept stunk).I would have enjoyed working for him. Class act. What became of Bob Woody?

Last I heard The Woody Guy is living in Florida. I had the opportunity to work with him on a bi county project in the 80s. I also attended as Werner Erhard seminar in New Jersey. Woody could be intense and arrogant.  He questioned my work ethic. It was hard to hear but I believe that one of the reasons why LuLac is here and I have the job I have now is because I became a more passionate and smarter worker. I thank Woody for that. Here’s a link to a few articles we did on the 590 Forever blog site regarding Bob Woody.

Bob Woody, me in 1987, and his associate at the time Bert Ayers before a news conference at Pocono Downs. (Photo: LuLac archives).

11. If you were advising the President during these obvious world crisis, would you tell him to go on vacation?

Absolutely not. He should stay in the White House. It’s not like there isn’t anything to do there.

12. I know it is your blog, but I beg you not to do a laudatory post on Robin Williams.

Well this has been pretty difficult to put into words. There are a lot of sides to this story.
First off, depression is a disease. A gripping disease that Williams has been treated for all of his life. I have not ever had full blown depression. I think my fear and loathing of death might have a lot to do with it. I have seen people up close who have been diagnosed with depression. It is not a good thing. Plus you can’t control it either. The closest I came to being filled with despair was during this last health concern with Myastenia Gravis because everything was out of my control. But like Scarlett O’Hara, there was always the thought that “Tomorrow is another day”.
My wife tells me that people fighting this disease can’t grasp that concept no matter their station in life. What I don’t understand about Williams is how it got this bad. Again, I can’t begin to put myself in his shoes.
I do commend and condemn him in terms of his talent. His body of work is spectacular in terms of the quality and emotion of it. He will go down as one of the legends of Hollywood. But he by way of his disease decided to end his life and therefore terminate with that gifted  life any more talent he could give to people. Sickness or self deluded selfishness? Not for me to decide.
But I will say this. I’ve seen people struggle with health, I’ve seen people struggle with poverty. I’ve seen abused women who were beat to a pulp mentally and physically come back stronger than ever. I’ve seen parents of disabled children carry on despite knowing that the future of their child might not be what they planned. I’ve seen people helped and cheered by no one and yet everyday they carry on. From childhood, Williams had advantages. I can’t help but think what some others could accomplish with the talent, upbringing and riches he had. From my perspective, you don’t give up. Again I’m told that “I don’t understand what depression is” and I agree. I never had to walk in those shoes.
It is both sad and ironic that Williams helped others get through tough times, even inspired them to prevail and made them laugh. The horrible thing is he was unable to see the self worth and what he had to offer within himself to allow himself to survive.
He will most likely become the new cause celeb for Depression and I guess that’s a good thing for awareness. But he should not be congratulated, disease or no disease, for taking the easy way out. He did, and all the sympathy and regrets directed toward his sad ending will never change that.

13. So the Wilkes Barre Area School Board decided to rehire Service Electric for high school football and bring back Rob Neyhard for select games. Any thoughts?

Well I think the Board had some citizens take them aside privately and counseled them saying “Celebrating your stupidity in public is never a good idea”. This will be a calm before the next wave of pettiness and bad behavior. The School Board is like a time bomb of stupid just waiting to erupt. Unless we change the leadership, this will continue to happen. It may not happen in a month but it will occur again. This School Board proves the point that a regular reader of mine makes all the time, “You can’t fix stupid”. Especially when some members embrace and chest thump it like a medal of honor.


At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be some funny shit goin on when Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters get together again.

At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched 5 minutes of FOX (never get it right news) last night and among other things they told
me that Williams character Mork first appeared on Laverne and Shirley! Jesus H! It was Happy Days.
Now media is going on about drug use which it seems hadn’t been an issue for years. Recent issue
was alcohol, a real killer in a league with hard drugs, according to what I’ve been able to learn about
Williams recent life. So very sad.
The only two I ever saw who could do what they did were Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams. No doubt both were brilliant men.

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Presidents don't really get vacations...just a change of location.
From Truman to Obama, each President has "vacationed" and been criticized by the opposing party whilst doing so.
I recall Dems criticizing Reagan for his Ranch trips and W for his trips.
Now, Obama gets criticized by the Republicans.
In short, Presidential vacations don't matter---he has everything he needs at his disposal. And perhaps, a change of scenery does the man good (Republican or the present Democrat). Still, these trips are mostly symbolic.
Just as the critics reactions to the trips are.
BLess You.
ANd a special shout out to Robin WIlliams!!!!

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally amazed that a high school in Ohio has allowed a convicted rapist student back on the football
team after a serving short sentence.
Guess it just shows how important football is in the rust belt. And how screwed up our moral compass is in this country. If he would have been busted for weed would he be back on the team? I doubt it!

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazed that Hillary Clinton feels the need to jump on the bandwagon and attack Pres Obama! She just doesnt get it, does she? He was her Commander in Chief and he gave her an opportunity to excel. He supported her 100%. She has the nomination in the bag. This is unnecessary.So much for character qualities like respect and appreciation. Now I remember why I didnt like her last time around and probably wont vote for her next time either!

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really love 13 Questions and look forward to it more than the other LULAC features which I also enjoy. Keep up the good work. LULAC has more good information than the two local newspapers.


At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa...I agree with you. 13 Questions is one of the most creative, thoughtful, funny and appealing aspects of LuLac.
If this wasn't LuLac land as Mr. Yonki likes to call it, he'd be on a network somewhere.
Kudos to the folks at WBRE for giving him a platform to educate and entertain us.


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Karel Zubris said...

Thanks for the screen shot YONK!


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