Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania

We made it …

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… barely.missed_flight_100
Had we scheduled our return trip home ending our three-week R & R (relatives and reminiscing) hiatus a day later, we might still be in Toronto.
Our Air Canada flight home lifted off at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. That same flight Wednesday was among the dozens cancelled or delayed because of the massive rain/snow/wind storm that flopped over much of the eastern portion of the continent.
At the same time, Bev and I basked in 78-degree San Diego as we refilled our larder – er – freezer with goods from WalMart and Sam’s Club and settled into the sparkle that Mike created by painting the interior of our home while we were away.
It wouldn’t have been all that bad if we’d been delayed. It would have extended our visit with brother Lou and his wife Jean. We spent a week with them for Canadian Thanksgiving and drove down to Pennsylvania to visit with Bev’s uncle Donald and aunt Nancy Linderman for a week, during which we attended a 90th birthday party for her cousin, Bernice Kleinsmith. Then it was back to Toronto for a week to help celebrate Jean’s 75th birthday. She chose dinner at Rodney’s Oyster House for tuna tartare. Bev selected the chowder and mussels while Lou and I washed down a couple of dozen oysters with Canadian beer.
Now, it’s back to catching up on paying the bills…

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 30, 2015 at 7:47 am

Take the Red Eye …

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… if you’re traveling  during the summer — or any peak travel season — to avoid getting jammed into a packed jetliner wedged between a dozen or so screaming, yelling, crying, complaining and bawling kids. Toddlers may be cute when they’re playing hideyseek around the airport boarding gate but they can  throttle any pleasure out of your flight because you can’t escape the destruction they do to the decibel level at 35,000 feet.

This jaunt was our first summer one in a few decades and  I discovered they’re also making the little people a lot louder these days. The red-eye out was peaceful and permitted us passengers to nod off for a few hours so we could enjoy the arrival day OK. We began the return flight to the West Coast from Back East at 3 p.m  and were left with no doubt it’s the last midsummer flight we consider for leisure travel. It was even difficult to read.

I did learn something else. While the arm rests in middle seats can be lifted out of the way simply by pulling up, the ones on the aisle always stubbornly refused to budge for me. A friendly fellow passenger showed me there’s a little button at the rear underside of the aisle armrest that you push to pull the armrest out of the way. It makes getting in and out of the seat much easier.

The hiatus in Pennsylvania and Canada was wonderful fun but it’s grand to be back home.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

August 7, 2014 at 8:06 am

Time for a change…

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…not only for this blog but for us, too.




We’ve taken the luggage down to get ready for an about-a-month-long visit Back East.

We have our house sitters lined up and calls made to credit-card companies to let them know we’ll be on the road and alerted the alarm company, cops, relatives and neighbors so all we have to do now is decide what color slacks and tops we want to take. And how many.

We’re traveling in middle of summer — ugh — the unpredictable-weather and busiest-travel time of year to attend brother Lou’s 75th birthday. We agreed several months ago we’d attend his and he’s to attend my 80th later this year. We’ll be in Toronto for a few days for the festivities, drive to visit Bev’s folks in the Reading, Pa., area for a week, and back to Toronto to hang around with Lou and Jean, play some cards, sip some scotch, drink some wine, and snag a table in some of Toronto’s fine restaurants. In Pa., we’ll do our usual shopping at the Bethlehem of outlets —  at the Vanity Fair complex in West Reading — and get our Amish-food fix at one of the several such eateries peppered over the rolling countryside.

We don’t worry about gaining weight during these sessions because we do a lot of walking. As those of you who are familiar with the cities back there, they’re more conducive to walking around than the stretched-out metros of the Southwest, like Phoenix and San Diego and Los Angeles, where it’s normally long-haul to walk anywhere from where you are.

As always, we anticipate a fine R & R (relatives and reminiscing) time but do not look forward to the airport and airplane crunching and scrunching both going and coming. But the excitement of being there and enjoying the folks is beginning to build. And we’ll take a few photos to accompany the travel pieces we write when we return home.

— Cecil Scaglione


Written by Cecil Scaglione

July 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

Molly Maguire Country

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Whizzing along the pavement winding through the hills of northeastern Pennsylvania is like sailing through the treetops, which are trying mightily to change colors right now. This is hard-coal country and site of vicious battles fought by railroad barons and mine owners and workers. The scars no longer show — although  small strip-mining operations here and there recall the era — but trauma was caused by such vicious conflicts as that between Irish coal miners known as Molly Maguires and strike-breaker Pinkertons imported by the mine owners. A more pleasant operation in these parts is the Yuengling Brewery, where you can stop for a tour and sudsy sip before heading back home.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 8, 2012 at 6:05 am

We’re Packed!!!

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It’s R & R time — relatives and reminiscing — again. And it’s our favorite month for travel. October weather usually is more  amiable and amenable than the rest of the years, especially when you head where we’re going — Back East. We’re going to visit Bev’s folks in Pennsylvania for a bit and then freeload off my family in Toronto for a bit more.

We also plan to pick up some travel-story material by visiting a handful of factories in Pennsylvania, which is the factory-tour capital of the galaxy. And we might take a jaunt to Ottawa — Canada’s capital — when we’re Up North.

Not even worried about bills because house sitter will alert us when they slip over the transom.

Stay tuned


Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

Add Color to your Trip

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America’s Brightest Hall of Fame


We smelled it as soon as we swooshed through the cool glass doors from the oppressive Pennsylvania humidity into the revitalizing air-conditioned low brick building.

“Crayons,” my wife said. She always says things like that before I do.

This nasal nostalgia triggered a rainbow of reminiscences: my first Christmas crayons and coloring book, the shopping sprees for the opening day of classes all through grade school, and the comfortable, colorful clutter of books and chopped-up crayons around the house as my children were growing up.

We had entered the Crayola Hall of Fame in the Binney & Smith corporate complex nestled in a high rolling Easton meadow close by the New Jersey border.

It was a timely visit because, for the first time in history, eight traditional tones were to be retired and a similar number added to the colorful contingent. To make room for the new hot hues – dandelion, wild strawberry, vivid tangerine, fuchsia, teal blue, royal purple, jungle green and cerulean – the traditional tints of maize, raw umber, blue gray, lemon yellow, green blue, orange red, orange yellow and violet blue were ensconced in the hall of fame.

I lobbied for the enshrinement of a violet orange I developed when an old crayon melted in my water color set long ago. But I couldn’t get enough weighted votes.

The move to modernity was made after interviews with Crayola’s major consumers – kids – revealed a need for brightness among the 72 official corporate colors.

We asked our guide, a retired Crayola craftsman, if there was any move to add a scent to the product. “Are you kidding?” was the response. Studies show that crayons are among the 20 most-recognized scents in America. Coffee and peanut butter top the list. And the most popular 32-color Crayola carton is to coloring what Coke is to soda pop.

While the scent is readily recognizable, it isn’t easily discovered. Plan to add at least 30 minutes for getting lost when you book an appointment for a tour of the coloring complex. The directions and map accompanying confirmation of your tour aren’t much help. Be prepared to ask local residents how to get to the Binney & Smith plant.

Inside, it’s almost disappointing to see how such colorful pieces of my life could be the product of such a small, spotless and constantly-clattering plant. It was like discovering that Santa’s workshop is in a carport.

Workers do display an elfin quality in the care and concern they show in making sure all those Crayolas have straight labels and perfectly pointed tips. My palms itched and ached to rake over those pristine-pointed columns of color. While there are more than half a million Crayolas on the floor at any one time, there are only a dozen or so workers attending clackety-clacking molding and packing machines. They produce 1 billion Crayolas a year. Another billion are produced at plants in Kansas, Canada and England.

Color is splattered all over as paraffin is recycled in large globs, colorful paper sleeves await the cylindrical sticks of color, and the familiar orange-and-green boxes of various sizes house the hundreds of thousands of Crayolas ready for shipment to more than 60 nations.

Crayolas have rolled out of this site since the first eight-color pack was produced in 1903 and sold for a nickel. The trade name Crayola derives from the French word craie for chalk and the Latin oleum for oil. Crayolas are made of paraffin and pigment. And crayon is the generic term for a colored writing stick. Anything else you ever wanted to know about Crayola and crayons can be obtained by writing to the company or by visiting.

The one person I hunted for but never found: the inspector who checks for crayons that stay inside the lines.

Scaglione is a San Diego free-lance writer.

April 07, 1991

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 2, 2011 at 7:03 am

R&R (Relatives and Reminisces)Trip

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Got luggage out of closet and preparing for  October tour of Ontario and Pennsylvania. Catching a direct flight to Toronto where we’re borrowing a car from brother Lou for the eight-hour drive to  Reading, Pa., to spend a week with Bev’s folks. Then it’s back to  Toronto to hang around with Lou and Jean. We’ll be there for her birthday  Oct. 23.  Also on tap is  a K-W Record alumni dinner in Kitchener, which is about a 45-minute drive from Louis’ home overlooking Lake Ontario from a few blocks west of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds Dufferin Gate . We’re also looking forward to visits with old friends — Fernando and Colleen Cicci, Joe and Edith Brown, Lorna (Cadieux) Kelly, to mention a few — as well as plenty of card playing and that comfortable  season known as Indian summer that arrives before the cold, grey, drizzly, windy winter sets in.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 26, 2010 at 7:17 am

Posted in Canada

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