Saturday, February 28, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2845, February 28th, 2015

Last evening in the city he loves and the Radisson Hotel he helped make possible, a beautiful hotel that was an old building destined for the scrap heap, James Barrett McNulty, the 29th Mayor of Scranton was honored on his 70th birthday. The event was a virtual who’s who of politicos in both Scranton and Wilkes Barre. The event also served as a fundraiser for Mr. McNulty and The Foundation for Cancer Care, an all-volunteer “grassroots foundation (that) helps any resident of our area with a cancer diagnosis.
The place was packed with friends, well wishers, former political foes and plain folks who wanted to extend their good wishes to the Mayor. There were people there of every age enjoying the festivities. The former Mayor made a speech from the second floor balcony of the Hotel flanked by his wife Evie Refalko McNulty, Senator Bob Casey and his wife Terese, State Democratic Chairman Jim Burn and former Heavy Weight Champion of the world Larry Holmes. In his remarks McNulty spoke of how hope and determination can overcome almost any obstacle.
There were so many people there that I apologize to anyone I left out. But some of the notables attending were Mayor Bill Courtright, former Mayors David Wenzel and Eugene Peters, former County Commissioners Mike Washo and Joe Corcoran, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Bob Morgan from Congressman Cartwright’s office (Mr. Cartwright might have been there but I kept on getting lost from Mrs. LuLac that she was threatening to get me one of those tether things that parents use for their kids at Disney World,) Thom Welby from State Representative Marty Flynn’s office, the renaissance man of Scranton, Joe Peters, Mitchell Klevan. the husband of Judicial candidate Judge Anne E. Lazarus a candidate for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Pat “The Statesman” O’Malley.
From the Wilkes Barre and Luzerne County area there was State Representative Mike Carroll, State Senator John Yudichak former Wilkes Barre Mayor Tom McGroarty, State committeeman Tom Shubilla, Political consultant and State Committee resource Bob Caruso, Judge Lesa Gelb and her husband Attorney Barry Dyller, Attorney Bill Vinsko and his wife Paula and a few others I’m sure I missed.
WNEP TV ran the event as their top story of the night at 11 and WBRE TV had a segment on Pa Live in the afternoon as well as having reporter Andrew Forgotch on the scene.
Even though he was a one term Mayor of Scranton, McNulty has been a transformative figure in area politics. His campaigns were legendary and changed the way politicians did business as they tried to climb the ladder. McNulty’s legacy is that he was the catalyst of what is now the modern Scranton in terms of its identity. It strikes me that with so many problems facing not only Scranton but all cities maybe we need to get a dose of Mr. McNulty’s storied enthusiasm. It was a great event that brought a city together at just the right time. It’s below zero most days, the snow is piled up, there is the pension situation in the city……………it was about time for a party and the only guy capable of pulling that off was Jim McNulty. Jim McNulty, a man I am so very proud to call a friend.

A majority of these photos were taken by Mrs. LuLac. You’ll see the ones I took on my little IPhone.
What I think is the classic photo of the night, former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes, Mr. McNulty and the senior Senator from Pennsylvania (as Jim likes to remind us) Bob Casey.
Less hair, more miles on him but he still has the microphone and the red rose. No mistaking who this is at the podium. Or in this case, rail.  
Senator Bob Casey expounding on Mayor McNulty's legacy.
One of Jim McNulty's best decisions, his wife (we men all marry up, let's face it) Evie. 
Breaking in the new LuLac camera with Bob Caruso, State Party Chair Jim Burn and your blog editor.  There is truth to the rumor that Burn saved the lens from cracking! 
Joe Peters arriving. Joe has been a mainstay in the area political and media scene. 
Tom Welby, Iris Liebman and State Representative Mike Carroll. 
Former Mayor David Wenzel holding court at the event with friends. 
Speaking of former Mayors, I was thrilled to meet Eugene Peters who was at the event. Mr. McNulty served as Peters' Deputy Mayor and even when I worked in the media in the 70s, our paths never crossed. His son Joe made it happen. It was an honor. 

Bob Caruso and I huddling about recent and future political developments which I'm sure fascinated the table behind us. Not!

While Mrs. LuLac was shooting, I spied the newly registered Democratic Commissioner, Pat "The Statesman" O'Malley circulating his nominating petitions. 
Is Larry Holmes really that tall? Yes he is. The Champ gave a heart warming speech last night. 
 It wasn't over Rigatoni and Garlic Bread at La Trot but it was just as interesting as I sat down with the guest of honor last night. 


At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What no one from WILK showed up?

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Better Life Seminars said...

Nice tribute


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