- Big Chuck
- Monday, August 29, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: No mystery about good works done by PEO
I get a lot of requests for speaking engagements. A lot. Most of the time I actually know who the audience will be. I've addressed more than 50 historical societies, dozens of reading groups, several museum groups and enough Rotary and Kiwanis luncheons to make me feel like the Toastmaster General of the U.S.
- Monday, August 15, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Back-to-school used to be a simpler affair
Have you seen the "back-to-school" sales now going on in stores? Ahem, hello? It's still summer! Which got me to thinking about back-to-school shopping when I was a kid in the 1950s. The list seems almost infantile by today's standards.
- Monday, August 1, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Messages from the (virtual) mailbag
Well, it's mail call time again. Every six months I like to recap some of the correspondence I have received from readers. I welcome any and all emails!
- Monday, July 18, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: St. Mary's was part of Oneonta life
One of the longest-running chapters of Oneonta history just came to an end. Officially.
- Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Small-town memories have universal appeal
This Friday, July 8, I will be presenting my one-man show, "My Town is a Cathedral," at the Oneonta Theatre. It is sponsored by the Green Toad Bookstore and is a benefit for the Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care. The show is a gentle look at growing up in Smalltown U.S.A. in the black-and-white days of the 1950s and 1960s.
- Monday, June 20, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Father's Day gifts reflect the man ... or the times?
Well, Father's Day 2011 is history. Hey, dads, did you dodge a bullet this year? Gift giving for dad is always problematic. Being a father now for nearly 30 years, I can certainly identify with the touchy situation that my own dad was put in on Father's Day back in the 1950s. As they always say, "What do you give a man who has everything?"
- Monday, June 6, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: How a softball game can conjure youthful memories
While listening to a sports report at the radio station last week, the high score tallies for local youth softball games struck me as unusual. Eighteen, 20, 27 runs and more. Geez, I thought. What does a game like that look like?
- Monday, May 23, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Move over, Vegas: Oneonta's got live music to spare
Forget "City of the Hills." Shelve "Life Enjoyed." How about "Oneonta: The Live Music Capital of America." OK, so that might be a stretch, but has anybody else noticed how live entertainment around these parts has exploded in the past year?
- Monday, May 9, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Some normalcy in the royals' fairy tale wedding
Well, it's over. The wedding that is, not the marriage. Prince William and his gal, Kate, are hitched and off on their fairy-tale life together as the new wave of monarchy representing all of England. He is 28. She is 29.
- Monday, April 25, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: My 'interview' with Patsy Cline
I got a phone call at the radio station last week. "Patsy Cline on line 2, Big Chuck." Finally. I'd been waiting for this interview for a long time. "Hello, Patsy, it is so nice to hear from you." "Hi ya, Big Chuck. Gosh, it's been a while."
- Monday, April 11, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: 'Mercury Seven' took me to infinity ... and beyond
Almost exactly 52 years ago today, April 9, 1959, seven men were ushered into a room filled with TV cameras and introduced to a waiting world. I was 11 years old. These guys became my boyhood heroes.
- Monday, March 28, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Even new vacuum cleaners can still be fixed
I recently found my mother's old vacuum cleaner. The real old one. It's an unwieldy monstrosity. On the side it says "Electrolux Canister." It was 1950s gun-metal gray, making it look like an Army poison-gas container. It had rubber wheels and a hose that did not detach. Inside was a "collection bag" that looked like an aging windsock at a long-forgotten rural airport.
- Monday, March 14, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Schoharie 'savior' is area's own Dr. Dolittle
They called sharpshooter Tim Murphy the "Savior of Schoharie." Well, I'd like to submit the name Wes Laraway for the modern-day version of that title.
Savior, maybe. But don't call Wes a saint.
- Monday, February 28, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: A Dick Tracy watch and the Pope at the fair
I always wanted a Dick Tracy watch. You know, the kind you can use to communicate with people. When the World's Fair first came to New York City in 1939 ("The World of Tomorrow"), Dick Tracy watches were all the futuristic rage. Alas, they never came to be.
- Monday, February 14, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: It starts with the parks, of which Oneonta has many
I read recently that New York City banned smoking in all of its 1,705 city parks. Now, the Big Apple can do whatever it wants with its parks, but to me the factoid that leaped out of that statement was that there are 1,705 parks in New York City in the first place.
- Monday, January 31, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Readers weigh in with tips, quips and thank-yous
As promised, every six months I'd like to share some thoughts from the old e-mail bag. I encourage you to drop me a note and let me know if a certain column resonates with you.
- Monday, January 17, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Gone, but not forgotten, Boomer icons
Here's a real stunner. As of this week, and for many years to come, 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65 years old.
- Monday, January 3, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Yager Museum a treasure trove of history and art
So, what does the brown sign out on I-88 reading "Yager Museum" mean anyway? Who was Yager? What kind of a museum is it? Why, once you have followed the brown sign off the highway, do you find yourself wandering around looking for it?
- Monday, December 20, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Letters still good way to send very best
I recently received a very nice letter from a very old friend of mine. His name is William K. Davis. Long before Bill became one of the icons of the automobile industry in our region, he was just a friendly guy on my paper route when I was a kid. Bill and Alma Davis went to school with my parents in the 1940s, so I guess I've known him almost my whole life.
- Monday, December 6, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Beekman Boys make Sharon Springs fabulous destination
Hope springs eternal in Sharon Springs! And that hope isn't coming out of the springs, either. This old Route 20 community, once famed for its sprawling Borscht Belt-like hotels (mostly shuttered now) and its internationally known healing mineral springs (closed since 2005) is showing a robust turn for the better in recent months.