The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Michele Bender

January 31, 2010

MICHELE M. BENDER | I’ve had my fill

“Is it cold enough for you?”

The next person to ask me that will get smacked upside the head.

I loathe cold weather. The older I get, the more I mind it.

I remember white winters from my childhood that lasted from Halloween until Easter. I loved it then.

My friends and I would sled and build snowmen until we turned blue. The borough plowed snow into 4- and

5-foot mounds on the street corners. Boys in our ’hood constructed forts well-stocked with snowball ammunition.

I’d select a mound and create a snowy split-level. Once I even brought out a bucket of water to fashion a windowsill.

I was the Martha Stewart of ice décor.

My mom would have to drag me in the house.

The other day my buddy Music Dude (aka Jonathan) asked, “Do you have cabin fever yet?”

I answered honestly, “No. My problem is I like the cabin TOO MUCH!”

Hibernation totally appeals to me now in my geezer years.

Curl up after New Year’s, snooze until Easter … yeah, I could do that.

Punxsutawney Phil will make his prediction in a few days. Last year, he was wrong.

We didn’t get the six additional weeks of winter. That was fine with me.

The last shovel-able snow we had fell the third week of March. We got a chilly, but early, spring. We also suffered a ridiculously nippy June, July and August, which folks referred to as “the summer that wasn’t.”

If I was a groundhog, peacefully hibernating, and a few thousand noisy revelers interrupted my slumber, I might tell a lie, too.

I’ve only ever gotten up close and personal with a groundhog once.

One summer day, we awakened to one sunbathing on our deck. Bold as could be, he stretched out next to a chaise lounge.

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Michele Bender
  • Michele Bender Licorice lends a paw

    I bet you expected to find Michele Bender’s column here today.
    She just came home from the hospital. She’s doing fine but resting, so I thought I’d lend a paw.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender MICHELE M. BENDER | Time to can clutter

    I’m “downsizing.” Sixteen years ago, this house was perfect for me. I gave parties. Friends came and stayed for weekends. Great insulation protected visitors from highway noise.
    Yep, I had the time of my life.
    But I’m 16 years older, and my friends are, too.  They no longer travel like they did. Parties wear us out by 10 p.m.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele Those oldies, but goodies

    Twice yearly Hollywood marches out a platoon of war movies.

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Living life out loud

    “If I make it to Medicare,” I declared, “I’m going to throw a party people will not forget! It’ll be something no one’s ever done!”
    Well, I made it to 65.

    May 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watch the stars come out

    Every spring, I catch drive-in movie fever. We are blessed to have three outdoor theaters in a 30-mile radius. Movies under the stars … heavenly!

    May 3, 2014

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG MICHELE M. BENDER | Whisper sweet nothings in my ear

    “Your call is very important to us,” growled the crabby lady at the utility company. “Please wait for the next available representative.”

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele MICHELE M. BENDER | Sock it to me


    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG MICHELE M. BENDER | What happened to Christmas?

    Headaches rarely bother me. I always felt sorry for folks trapped in the Advil/Dristan web.
    I woke up at 4 a.m. Dec 17 with a headache that probably registered on a Richter scale. (People in New Zealand experienced aftershocks.)

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG Judge Judy’s tough in any language

    In her relentless effort to “correct and serve,” Judge Judy Scheindlin is “on the road” promoting her new program, “Hot Bench.”

    February 8, 2014 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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