- Big Chuck
- Monday, November 7, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Remembering my small glimpse of the Cuban Missle Crisis
I read recently in a newspaper that the U.S. was beginning a "year-long observance of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, culminating in October 2012." Fifty years? I'd been following the crisis on TV as my mom and dad fretted over the news being presented by the dour-faced men in gray business suits who gave us the news each night on our brand-new Zenith television set.
- Monday, October 24, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: A remote-controlled cooler sounds enticing
Here they come! I am ready to gird myself against the onslaught of junk mail that is starting to roll in for the holidays already. I do not buy from catalogs. Never have. Don't even read them. North Face? L.L. Bean? Omaha Steaks? Vermont Country Store? No thanks. Except for one.
- Monday, October 10, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: I never took a hike in my life; would do it again
"Take a hike!" That is what my father used to tell me when he'd had enough of my smart talk as a kid. Unfortunately, I never took that hike. In fact, I don't think I've ever hiked in my life, either formally or informally.
- Monday, September 26, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Local traffic's got nothing on LA
I will never complain about traffic again. I just got back from a wonderful vacation with my daughter, Frances, in Los Angeles. I had lived there many years (and a million people) ago. While I was there from 1974 to 1980, I saw this exciting and vibrant city through the eyes of a longhaired wanderer. It was great.
- Saturday, September 10, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: 9/11 is behind us but we'll never be the same
Since the horror of Sept. 11, 2001 is now a decade in the past, many will use this as a time to reflect on how our nation has changed since my generation's Pearl Harbor was visited upon our country.
- Saturday, September 3, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: 'Radioathon' was about more than just donations; it meant love, sharing
Over the years I have been involved with many fundraising efforts at our radio stations. As far back as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. We raised a thousand dollars in change and turned Main Street Oneonta into one large collection bucket.
- 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.