My Corner, Your Corner: Zavada family enjoying this time of year

My Corner, - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – well it is for the Joseph Zavada family of Exeter.

The late Joseph Zavada, better known as “Chief” to family and friends, was the long standing Chief of Police of Exeter. This past week during the Exeter Borough Council meeting, Chief Zavada received the ultimate acknowledgement when a 10-year dream of his family came true. The Chief will be immortalized on a bronze plaque with his likeness to be placed at town hall.

According to a Times Leader article posted from August 2011, the Zavada family was approached in 2007 by borough officials about commemorating the chief’s dedication and service to Exeter.

The family was asked what they wanted inscribed on the plaque and it was determined that it would read “Respected, loved, dedicated to God, family and community.”

Zavada served as chief from mid-30s through the mid-60s and was fondly remembered for many, many years after his retirement.

Daughter Martha Zavada spoke at this past week’s council meeting stating how all six daughters of the chief’s were very proud of him and his dedication and accomplishments in the borough. One particular feat the chief pushed through was the police officer’s pension program, from which retired officers have benefited since 1967.

The plaque for Chief Zavada has been a labor of love of his family and friends for all these years. Raising money to create the plaque has been slow at times and, in 2016, council officials were reminded of their pledge to see the project through.

Councilman Joe Pizano volunteered his time and pledged to the Zavada family the plaque would be created.

Pizano’s promise came to fruition 18 months later and, with help from Exeter Borough, the last $400 balance to pay off the plaque was granted by a unanimous vote by council.

Congratulations to the Zavada family; it’s been a long time coming but well deserved.

Death of a 70s icon

The entertainment world lost David Cassidy on Nov. 21 and, for many of us who grew up in the 1970s, he was the Beatles, Justin Timberlake, and U2 of his time.

Cassidy was one of the co-stars of “The Partridge Family,” a fictitious rock and roll family of musicians with him as the lead singer. The show was based on The Cowsills, a real pop family.

Shirley Jones, Cassidy’s real life stepmother who played his mother on the show, had a musical background but it was Cassidy who received all the attention.

The Partridge Family released 10 albums along with five solo albums during the series run from 1970 to 1974 that included 96 episodes.

Because of the success of the show and the popularity of the group’s music, Cassidy began touring on his own and, at one time, was considered one of the hottest musical acts, selling out arenas. He sold out the Houston Astrodome, Madison Square Garden and even Wembley Stadium in England.

If you were a kid growing up at that time, you wanted to be David Cassidy or at least have his great hair. If you were a girl, you wanted him to be your boyfriend.

One of the local TV stations plays “The Partridge Family” shows in the afternoon and, if I get a chance to see the show, it’s great fun. There are a lot of the episodes I don’t remember and it’s nice to see some of our youthful memories broadcast on TV.

It’s like watching old family movies except you’re related to nobody on the screen.

When I hear a song from yesteryear it transports me back in time and being 12 or 13 wasn’t a bad place to be.

After his huge success as a teen idol, Cassidy had a checkered past, including a run-in with drugs and alcohol. Earlier this year, he revealed he was diagnosed with dementia.

According to his daughter, his final words were, “So much wasted time.”

Wow… what profound words. We all can relate to what he was saying. I agree with his final sentiment.

We all make mistakes in life and we cannot take them back, but we can learn from them and move on. Maybe he wasn’t just talking about the mistakes in his life that he wasted, maybe it was his choices. Maybe he realized the time he squandered doing drugs instead of being productive.

It’s a pity we get wiser as we get older.

Sad stat

It was reported last week that out of the 50 states, PA has the fourth highest cancer rate in the nation. Our state ranks 12th with breast cancer diagnoses, 20th with lung cancer deaths and tied for 16th with total overall cancer deaths.

I’m not sure why I’m presenting this but, as a cancer survivor, this makes me sad to see such numbers. I hope one day these numbers turn around.

Quote of the week

“Love one another with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Thought of the week

“True love always makes a man better, no matter what woman inspires him.” – Alexandre Dumas Père, French writer

Bumper sticker

“Love hurts, love scars, love wounds, and mars.” – Roy Orbison, American musician

My Corner,

Your Corner

Tony Callaio