This week’s column is about nothing. Sounds like I’m imitating “Seinfeld,” doesn’t it? I finally took a few days off and headed out of state for a bit, so I shut down for the week.
Before I went away, I had a professional opportunity to attend the Pittston High School Grand Reunion at Genetti’s last weekend. Classes from the 1940s though the 1960s attended and it looked like a great time.
Marianna Pavlico and gang did an incredible job organizing a huge undertaking. My hat’s off to her and her fellow volunteers.
I also had the chance to photograph the last Second Friday Art Walk of the year in downtown Pittston. I had the pleasure of covering the first of the summer and, before I knew it, the last one came and went.
It was a gorgeous night, the Sperrazza Band was on fire and people were milling around everywhere. Mural artist Michael Pilato was busy on his 48-hour journey of painting continually over the 9/11 anniversary as he does every year.
Pilato has been adding, changing and improving an already great attraction to downtown Pittston. His recent addition of heroes from Greater Pittston is inspiring.
I hear Michael loves Pittston so much he’s thinking of relocating here. If he keeps painting all over Pittston, city officials might have to consider changing the name from Pittston to Pilato. Could West Pilato be too far away?
As I mentioned, I got away for a few days to take my first-ever trip to New Orleans, or N’arlins as the natives say. New Orleans is unique with the French Quarter section and its strange addition to the dark world of voodoo. Oddly enough, Catholicism is pretty heavy there for a southern city, making me wonder - why the voodoo thing?
The first thing you notice while driving into the city on Route 10 is the huge superdome that looks like a spaceship. It’s a remarkable structure just on the edge of the city.
The French Quarter is laced with bars and restaurants that have bars. The drinking age is relaxed where an 18-year-old can have alcohol when accompanied by a parent or guardian who is at least 21 years old. Well, they do have Mardi Gras and it is a party city so I guess that all adds up.
The other thing I couldn’t help but notice was the price of gas. We drove past one gas station selling at $1.85 a gallon. Maybe if our gas in Pennsylvania wasn’t so heavily taxed, we might see gas at $2 a gallon by now.
You know how many of us say Pennsylvania has the worst roads in the country? I saw some horrendous roads in New Orleans. On my last day there, we went for breakfast, then took a sightseeing drive to see historical cemeteries. During the drive, because of the bad side roads, I got nauseous.
Cemeteries, you ask? They are also unique because the groundwater table is so high, people have to be entombed above ground. It looked so European, I had to photograph them.
It was a great trip and I want to thank my hosts Kim and Abigail for the great time. It’s great when you are with people who know the area as well as Kim does to show me around.
Because of self-employment, I don’t get to travel much, and it’s always nice to get away and recharge. Since last week, I’ve celebrated another birthday and the older you get, the more you think. I’m thinking more trips should be in my future, even if they are three- or four-day getaways.
So many places to go and see. Europe is a great destination for many, but really, with the United States being so big, why not start with seeing what goes on in our own country?
California is on my bucket list, as are the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Nashville, Niagara Falls, Seattle and maybe Vegas. What’s your favorite destination?
While flying home, I ran into Adam Turoni, chocolatier extraordinaire from Savannah, Georgia. The grandson of the Turonis and Colella families of West Pittston, Adam is making waves of success in the chocolate business in Savannah.
Quote of the week
“It is not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages.”
– William Carlos Williams, American poet.
Thought of the week
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
- Anne Bradstreet, British poet.
“Money does not make you happy but it quiets the nerves.”
– Sean O’Casey, Irish playwright.