Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3298, September 14th, 2016


When Oprah Winfrey ended her show in 2011 after nearly 25 years, people wondered just what WBRE TV was going to fill it with. As a kid growing up, that 4pm to 6pm time slot was usually filled by either re-runs or movies. Who can ever forget “Dialing For Dollars?” or McHale’s Navy and Hogan’s Heroes before the 6pm newscast?!!! But as we know through the years news and TV has changed and that 4pm slot is covered by some TV stations with news. Others have Judge or Justice programs.
But WBRE decided to try something daring. In broadcasting, “daring” is usually met by caution. Caution leads to meetings, then meetings lead to delay, that then leads to more meetings and then more delay, then usually, the end of an idea. But that didn’t happen at WBRE. Now I wasn’t around for the negotiations but when the show landed on the air in the fall of 2011. The show featured  Dave Kuharchik, (who was already an established figure in area broadcasting as a meteorologist) along with his first co host, Monica Madeja.  It was the biggest thing people were talking about in local media, especially since the broadcast started amidst the flood of 2011. 
After that unique but successful start, it gave area businesses, artists, bloggers, movie goers, sports enthusiasts (both extreme and traditional) a place to show their stuff. A trip around the hour that is PA LIVE is like a relaxed rocket ride through the life of a community. It is a snapshot of a day or week, of a region at its best. And a road map for those who wish to partake or just observe.
PA LIVE has become one of the most significant pieces of local broadcasting.
On to number 6. The positive whirlwind continues.

The 5th anniversary was held at The Beaumont Inn. Local businessman  Rob Friedman bought it and has made it into a veritable show place of class. The atmosphere is beautiful, the gardens are beyond incredible and the food at the event was not your typical finger food. Wonderful cold meats, fruits, crackers, empanadas, bruschetta and fruits were on display. (And they even had Coke!!!) A few months ago when Mrs. LuLac and I went on our anniversary tour we had a Sunday Morning breakfast brunch at the Beaumont.
At that time, Rob and I touched base because in the 80s through Rob’s efforts with Marc Holtzman we had the opportunity to meet then Vice President George W. Bush when we were members of the Wilkes Barre Kiwanis Wheelchair Club Foundation. When I sold TV advertising I dealt with Rob’s sister. Our great friend the late Andy Murman also worked at Friedman Electric for many years.
What does this trip down memory lane mean to you? Well my point is that it is no surprise that The Beaumont Inn has become the place to do an event with Mr. Friedman at the helm. When Rob has a mission in mind, it usually ends in perfection. Like it did last night for Pa Live. 
Here are scenes from the PA Live 5th anniversary party at the Beaumont Inn in the Back Mountain. 
Standing in the sun with Dave Kuharchik and Valerie Tysanner waiting for our cues. 
That tall guy with the distinguished gray hair is WBRE TV/WYOU TV GM Bob Bee. 
Had a chance to reunite with an old classmate from St. John the Evangelist High School class of '70, Mr. Vince "Spiro" Splendido. That was his nickname in high school. Vince and his wife raises money with "Rhythm and Wines" to aid homeless veterans. At one point my nickname was "Hubert", we were both Student Council veeps, he in '70, me in 71. 
 Here's Valerie and Dave preparing for an  to interview. 
Had an opportunity to sit with two new friends, Bill Saba and Linda Cooney. Both let me sit at their table and guarded my seat as I hobnobbed!


Our very good friend Kathleen Smith was very instrumental in last Saturday’s ceremony at The Hollenback Cemetery honoring Florence Foster Jenkins. I don’t what relieved her more, having the event turn out to be the success it was or finally getting her cell phone unattached from her ear.
Smith was on the phone all last week making the arrangements for the writer of the documentary,  Donald Collup to speak at the event. His memories were both poignant, funny and gave an insight into the singer and socialite. Foster Jenkins'  life began in Wilkes Barre and she later made her mark in New York City social circles.
It was reported that Collup wore pink socks and a pink tie because this was Foster Jenkins’ favorite color. Plus Smith had the honor as Regent of the Shawnee Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Smith carried a pink bouquet of flowers to the graves of both Jenkins and her mother Mary Jane Hoagland Foster, who was part of the group in 1900.
Council member Tony Brooks spoke at the event. More than 150 came out on that stifling hot day.
Kathleen Smith at the event.
Donald Collup speaking.
Tony Brooks doing a tour at the gravesite.


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