This weekend, we will celebrate Father's Day, and while that's what I'd really like to talk about, I'd like to say, first of all, that I understand that by nature, this Hallmark holiday is not one that is to be celebrated by everyone this year.
As a lifetime fan of racing â€” both local dirt tracks and major circuits â€” the passing of NASCAR/sprint driver Jason Leffler at a race in New Jersey hit me especially hard when I saw the last photo he'd posted on his Twitter feed â€” one of him and his son standing by the fence at a race track.
I can smell it in the air, the aroma of hot sausage sandwiches and funnel cakes being prepared to feed the hungry masses at the Firemen's Old Home Week carnival grounds located behind the Punxy Plaza.
Wait a minute, what's that?
It's not going to happen this year?
No carnival, no hot sausage sandwiches or spinny carnival rides, no bearded lady or man.
Friday night, I had the pleasure of covering one of the most important annual events in the town of Punxsutawney.
Right up there beside Groundhog Day is the day that we see off another year's worth of students from the high school and send them out into the world.
We hope that the 13 years of education they've received has prepared them for the next phase of their lives and trust that the 18-or-so years they have spent gaining education outside the classroom in this town has done the same.
Because of the late hours that I work, there aren't a whole lot of things that I look forward to setting an alarm in the morning for.
But Monday, I considered it an honor to wake to my alarm, because I knew the special nature of the occasion I was waking for.
It was Monday morning that we went to the high school and the middle school to honor the Teachers of the Year â€” a promotion we do each year and a small token of just how much we appreciate the teachers in our community.
Wait a minute.
That can't be true.
Riding a bicycle around town has the same laws as driving a car around town.
Are you saying that going down a one-way street the wrong way on a bike is in violation of the law?
Oh, boy, somebody is in trouble.
It's hard to believe, but bicycle laws parallel the laws that govern those for automobiles.
A bike is considered a vehicle when operating on a public thoroughfare and, thus, is subject to the same laws as any other moving vehicle.
You mean to tell me there's no riding a bike down the sidewalk?
Editor's Note: Sometimes, life knocks us down â€” literally. This week, the flu had me down for a day, putting me a bit behind schedule, and I was unable to write a column. Fortunately, I was browsing last year's columns, from when I was on the sports pages, and came across this column. It is one of my favorites I've written and one that led to the most "I can relate," comments. I hope you enjoy!
Over the course of the past week-and-a-half, I've been doing a lot of thinking about dandelions.
So what's the deal with tall people?
They think they're better than everyone just because they're a little bit closer to the sun and know when it's raining slightly before everyone else.
They're always hitting their heads off stuff, and they don't fit into anything.
If you happen to get into place behind one of these redwoods at a parade or sporting event, good luck seeing anything.
Admittedly, they're ideal for basketball, volleyball, high shelves and chicken fights in the swimming pool, but other than that, what are they good for?
It's dark. You've gotten up out of bed at 4 a.m. â€” or never went to bed to begin with â€” and all in the name of hunting a spring gobbler.
For the last 15 years or so, I've been out with my oldest son, Joe, in pursuit of the elusive spring gobbler.
I say elusive, because these turkeys have nothing to fear from me, since I've not successfully harvested one of the big birds in all of these years.
Not only have I not harvested a bird, but I've never even seen one up close enough to fire a shot.
One positive is that I save a lot of cash by not having to buy shotgun shells every year.
It is an exciting time to be a sports fan.
In fact, I would argue that every single day is an exciting time to be a sports fan â€” except for that one day in the middle of the summer right around the Major League Baseball All-Star Game where there are no games scheduled. That day stinks.
But still, at least 364 days out of the year, it's exciting to be a sports fan.
Today, though, I might argue, is perhaps one of the most exciting days of the year to be a sports fan, at least this year.
A laugh a day should be part of everyone's makeup, but sometimes, the serious stuff has to intervene to make life interesting.
Many times this column will go for the laugh â€” if only for the month â€” but even the mundane has to creep in sometimes. This is one of those times.
May is a great month for fun and frolic with Mother's Day and Memorial Day, but for Pennsylvanians, there comes a day for thought and serious consideration.