This month marks the anniversary of my column in The Tribune-Democrat.
It is hard to believe that I’m starting my fifth year in which my writings have appeared in the paper.
Time flies when you’re having fun.
I would like to thank editor Chip Minemyer for his ongoing support for the past four years.
His encouragement and insight have been much appreciated, as well as his sense of humor.
I would also like to thank you, the readers of my column, for your ongoing compliments and feedback the past four years. Your kind words have helped to keep me going through a few health issues the past couple of years. I realize that there are folks out there with far worse health issues, and mine are a walk in the park compared to others.
The people of Johnstown are a hardy bunch, and deserve much credit for making a go of it in these days of economic meltdowns. I hope our local politicians appreciate our townsfolk and never take them for granted.
Johnstowners deserve the very best efforts of the politicians we put into office with our votes. I only know two of our local politicians, and I feel they are good people, with our best interests at heart. I hope they are all in accord on this matter.
Johnstown has been a distressed city for far too long, and our politicians (and business people) need to think outside the box, and seek advice from those outside the Johnstown establishment, to jumpstart the Friendly City.
Obviously they need new ideas from new people. A few new businesses are moving in, but still not enough to get the city back on its feet.
Not being a politician (or a businessman), I’m not privy to the challenges they face when trying to reboot a town like ours, so I refrain from specific criticism. But I still feel much more can be done from all involved to revitalize this city.
I would also like to thank my family (mom, brothers, niece and nephew) for allowing me to discuss them in public with the readers. As I’ve stated before, there is nothing more important than family, and discussing their idiosyncrasies is something everyone can relate to with their own families.
As I talk to people around town it seems as if the family unit is in meltdown mode as well. Part of that situation is no doubt due to new technology, but part of it is due to the failure of some ‘parental units’ (as the Coneheads used to say) and even our educators. Everyone needs to step up their game this new year.
I try to vary my themes each column (local interest, sports, cinema, history, family) to keep my column fresh. I like to discuss my dad from time to time, as it keeps his memory alive for me, and hopefully for readers’ own family members who have passed on.
One of my great passions is history, of any subject, and I feel we have been failing our children in keeping history alive, especially oral family history.
It is a shame that our children seem so clueless about their own families. We need to share our family histories with them; they deserve better from us.
History needs to become a focal point again in our lives, because it is important.
Some of my favorite memories are of relatives discussing family members who we kids never knew personally.
I never knew my paternal grandmother; she died before I was born.
Since my dad has passed on, I have my own mother (who knew Dad’s mom) to thank for graciously sharing old photos and stories about her, to bring her back alive for me, by sharing.
So as I embark on my fifth year, I look forward to hearing from you, dear readers, on your thoughts on the subjects I discuss, or would like me to discuss.
As Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) used to say: “I’m listening …”
Bill Eggert is a Johnstown resident.
This month marks the anniversary of my column in The Tribune-Democrat.
- Bill Eggert
Presidential parallels between Lincoln, Kennedy intriguing
I was hoping to attend the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address but was unable to do so. However, given there was another historic anniversary in November – John F. Kennedy’s assassination – I thought it might be interesting to compare both presidents from a long-standing parallel that originated after Kennedy was assassinated.
Western Pa.’s close encounter
A NASA study recently estimated that there are at least 40 billion inhabitable planets in our galaxy. The odds that Earth is not the only one with life on it are, well, astronomical.
BILL EGGERT | 75 years later, reaction to radio prank still scrutinized
1938 was a seminal year for aliens in this country’s popular culture; aliens of the variety that were out of this world, literally.
BILL EGGERT | Underdog Pirates prevailed in their last 3 Series
As we inch closer to the season’s end, we think of young fans who have never seen a World Champion Pirate team. Twenty losing seasons, and 34 since the last championship team.
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Fall is almost here and the world somehow seems different, and brighter. After 21 years, our beloved Bucs are back in the pennant chase, and hopefully, the World Series.
BILL EGGERT | Johnstown’s geography of cinema
While we are familiar with the subject of geography, many are no doubt unfamiliar with the concept of it within the confines of movies. Yet we are on some level, if only subconsciously. The “geography of cinema” comes into play when movies are shot on pre-existing locations. The issue of “representation” is the most obvious issue in this context.
BILL EGGERT | A star-studded celestial shower
It was for my 14th birthday that I asked my parents for a telescope, which I received that March 4. It was a 60-power refractor, not really that powerful, but for a teenage novice astronomer just starting it was perfect. You could see the rings of Saturn (just a small white line circling the planet), the phases of Venus (just like our moon) and the four largest moons orbiting Jupiter (four white dots neatly lined in a row). Best of all was our moon, with its beautifully desolate landscape of craters and “seas.”
BILL EGGERT | Fireflies’ flashing fascinates faithful following
Most folks generally despise insects. They can be annoying (houseflies), germ-laden (roaches) or even deadly (black widow and brown recluse spiders).
Gettysburg: 150 years of hallowed ground
Mention the town of Gettysburg and we think of possibly its pastoral beauty or the residence of the late U.S. president and five-star general, Dwight D. Eisenhower. But for most people, Gettysburg calls to mind the pivotal battle of the Civil War.
BILL EGGERT | The Lone Ranger rides again
“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a ‘Hi-Yo Silver!’ The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider led the fight for law and order in the early Western United States. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!”
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