Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PD lays off 50, including Brett & Rosenberg. Dawidziak & Harris survive . . . for now.

PD and former BJ television critic Mark Dawidziak sent this email to the BJ Alums blog:

You may have already heard this, but . . .  You knew this was coming, of course, and, turns out, this is the morning that the Plain Dealer is announcing the elimination of one-third of the newsroom personnel. 

We were told to wait by our phones from 8 to 10 a.m. to hear our fate. I must have got the first phone call of the morning (just seconds after 8). I'm NOT being separated from employment (to use their euphemism for fired).

Now comes the awful stretch of finding out who didn't make the cut. I'm off to Elmira tomorrow to deliver a paper at the State of Mark Twain Studies Conference and a reunion with Hal (Holbrook) and David (Bianculli).

Don Rosenberg
I'm pleased, of course, but that relief is tempered by the realization that so many good people will lose their jobs today -- including, as hard as this is to report, Don Rosenberg.


Rosenberg left the BJ as classical musical critic to go to the PD years ago.

David Bianculli was the BJ’s TV critic before he left for the New York Post, where he no longer works, and was replaced at the BJ by Dawidziak. Bianculli is a college instructor in journalism and contributes to National Public Radio.

Mark Dawidziak
The Save the Plain Dealer Facebook page reported that 50 – more than one-third of an already-depleted staff – were laid off. That leaves 110 Guild employees. SPD said the New Jersey-based Advanced Publications, a private Newhouse company and owners of the PD, has laid off more than 1,500 nationally in its newsrooms in a move toward digital publishing. 

The PD switches to three days a week for home delivery Aug. 5, but copies are available daily at some outlets. Northeast Ohio Media Group, a PD subsidiary, is handling the transformation.

The PD dropped former BJ artist John Backderf’s comic strip, “The City,” which has run in more than 100 newspapers. Plain Dealer president/publisher Terry Egger said another round of layoffs will come later this summer. So even today's survivors aren't out of the woods necessarily. Apparently 110 is too many Guild employees for Newhouse.

Former BJ reporter Sheryl Harris, consumer writer, also survived the cut. So did Michael Heaton and Bill Livingston, who were not BJ expatriates. Guild president Harlan Spector was among the voluntary layoffs. 

When the BJ Alums blog learns the names of the others “separated” from the PD, we will pass them along on this blog. Since two dozen BJ newsroom personnel switched to the PD, there may be more names familiar to BJ alumni on the fired list. Some of the BJ folks who went to Cleveland already are gone from the PD, too, as the situation got worse and worse.

It’s yet another sad, sad day in Northeast Ohio and national newspaper journalism. The main culprits are the Internet and newspaper managements’ unwillingness to embrace the Internet in its infancy and become a leader in it rather than continuing management strategy that was a century old.

Nationwide, the New Jersey-based company, owned by one of America’s richest families, has gotten rid of more than 1,500 journalists’ jobs since launching its ill-conceived “digital first” strategy in 2012.

Per the "Save the Plain Dealer" campaign, all employees will gather in support of one another outside the newsroom.  A news conference and rally will be held outside 1801 Superior Ave. at 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m., the newsroom crowd will congregate at Market Garden Brewery. If you happen by, do send a round their way.

Partial list:
Cynthia C Baecker   clerk
Margaret Bernstein    columnist
Sandi Boyd    clerk
Tom Breckenridge    reporter
Regina Brett   columnist

Reid Brown    artist
Dave Davis    reporter
Stan Donaldson    reporter
Bob Fortuna    reporter
Pat Galbincea    reporter

Mark Gillispie    reporter
Lisa Griffis    layout editor
John Gruner    reporter
John Horton    reporter
Felesia Jackson   graphic artist

David Jardy    library clerk
Adrian Johnson    layout editor
Ellen Jan Kleinerman   reporter
Doug Kramer    copy editor
John Kuehner   city desk editor (night)

John Luttermoser    copy editor
John Mangels    reporter

Erik Maruschak sports clerk
Carl Matzelle    sports clerk
Joe Maxse   sports  reporter

Deborah Miller    copy editor
Mike O'malley   reporter
James W Owens    graphics artist
Mike Peticca    reporter
Bill Piotrowski   layout editor

Racquel Robinson    letters editor
Timothy Rogers    reporter
Don Rosenberg    reporter
Anita Russo    clerk
Tonya Sams    reporter

Michael Scott   reporter
Scott Shaw    photographer
Harlan Spector reporter
Edith Starzyk    reporter
Peggy Turbett   photographer
Eileen Zakareckis    clerk
 Brian Zawicki library clerk

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

McBane keeps busy writng

Dick McBane kees busy writing. The latest SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) publication is entitled Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Game of the Nineteenth Century. My contribution is the game of June 26, 1881, with Akron at Louisville. The piece is titled "Mullane vs. Reccius for Eighteen Innings." Tony Mullane of the Akrons and John Reccius of the Louisvilles both pitched the entire game which was called due to darkness at the end of the 19th inning as a 2-2 tie. Alas for the error in the headline. Whatever happened to proof readers?

    I don't see anything in my copy of the book that gives instructions on where or how to obtain a copy, but I understand it is available both in print and by electronics. Presumably contacting gets you to the website that would have the pertinent information.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Art Cullison remembered a year after his death

After this blog item are published, another BJer posted on Art's guest book:

July 30, 2013
Dear Helen and friends,
I only knew Art for what seemed a short time in the Akron Beacon Journal newsroom before he retired but he was a great copy editor and wonderful person. He knew a lot about the area and its people and always would help if you had a question. He will be missed. Sincerely, Olga Reswow

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)

Art Cullison died July 26, 2012. When I received notice that Art’s online funeral home guest book would be closed Aug. 3, a few days more than a year after his passing, I checked out who signed the guest book provided by the Beacon Journal.

Art Cullison
I was amazed that only three people (I was one) signed Art’s guest book. He was 92, so he out-lived a lot of his friends, but I was surprised that more of his living former co-workers didn’t chime in.

At least 10 BJ alumni did show up at Billows Funeral Home to bid farewell to Art in person -- including photographer Bill Hunter, the newsroom’s Carol Camp, Carl Dangel, Harry Liggett, Ann Sheldon Mezger and husband Roger Mezger, Tom Moore, Lloyd Stoyer, John Olesky and artist Chuck Ayers.

Art's wife, Helen Louise, was an English teacher. There must have been some intelligent conversations in the Cullison household.

I can’t let the anniversary of Art’s passing go by, belated though I might be by three days, without calling attention again to one of most erudite copy editors – along with the late Hal Fry – in Beacon Journal history.

RIP, Art.

The online Guest Book signings for Art

Art Cullison

This Guest Book will remain online until 8/3/2013 courtesy of Akron Beacon Journal.

Thank you for signing the Guest Book for Art Cullison.

All Guest Book entries and photos are reviewed for appropriate content before appearing online. Most entries will appear within 24 hours of being submitted.

We encourage you to email friends and family members a link to this Guest Book so they may view and sign it as well.

Share this Guest Book with family and friends.
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Email to family and friends

August 04, 2012
Helen Louise and family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Art was one of the best at the BJ. His sense of humor was unsurpassed. He will be missed.

Sue Korosa,

August 03, 2012
Helen Louise and Family,
I have such beautiful memories Of Art.
Please accept my deepest condolennces.

Margaret Kraus Mahurin

August 03, 2012
Art was erudite and, with Hal Fry, made the Beacon Journal copy desk perhaps the most intelligent and accurate one west of the New York Times. I am sorry for the loss to the Cullison family and to the Beacon Journal family. His passing has been respectfully noted on the BJ Alums retirees blog on the Internet.
John Olesky,
Tallmadge, Ohio

August 03, 2012
Offering our deepest condolences during this time.
The Staff of Billow Funeral Homes,
Fairlawn, Ohio

4 entries

Sunday, July 28, 2013

BJ reunion at Akron Arts Expo

There was a BJ reunion at Akron’s Hardesty Park today, site of the Akron Arts Expo, which was ending a four-day run.

Roger Mezger and wife Ann Sheldon Mezger, Paula Tucker and John Olesky bumped into each other and chatted about the impending PD slash-and-burn newsroom personnel cuts, due any day now.

From left: Ann Sheldon Mezger,
Roger Mezger, John Olesky
Ann once was in charge of the BJ Features Dept. Roger was among about two dozen BJ folks who switched to the Plain Dealer. Paula was a 1970s State Desk reporter. John was her assistant  State Desk editor.

Ann and Roger are accustomed to encountering BJ folks. 

In 2010 they vacationed with former BJ reporter Charlene Nevada and her husband, former BJ Art Dept. chief Art Krummel, and Sue Reynolds, newsroom administrative assistant for decades before her retirement, and her husband, Roger Reynolds, a retired history teacher and coach from Green High, in Garden City Beach, south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The sixsome bumped into retired printer Dick Latshaw, who lives on Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

There were a lot more BJ folks vacationing together in the decades when former printer Bill Gorrell had his rentals across the street from the Siesta Key, Florida beach, famed for its cool sugar-sand and often listed among the top beaches in the nation and the world by various travel magazines.

About the only ones left from those gatherings are retired printer Gina White, who lives in Venice, Florida, and is the widow of former Composing foreman Dave White; Hugh Downing, who lives in The Villages, Florida, and John Olesky, who lives with Paula in Tallmadge. 

Most of the others, unfortunately, have passed away.

Ann and Roger are planning a train trip to Glacier National Park, which covers a million acres in Montana.  The Blackfeet and Flathead tribes roamed the land before the white man came along.

The nearest Montana city is Kalispell, which has about 20,000 residents, depending on how many elk and moose are included.

Kidd Kraddick dies raising money for his charity

Ohio native David "Kidd Kraddick" Peter Cradick, whose nationally syndicated morning radio show, “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning,” is on more than 100 radio stations, died Saturday in New Orleans at a golf tournament to raise money for his Kidd's Kids Charity. The show was broadcast from 7-11 a.m. Eastern time weekdays.
Kidd Kraddick
He was also seen on the nationally syndicated “Dish Nation television show weeknights around the United States.
Kraddick was born in Napoleon, Ohio and grew up in Dunedin, Florida.
Kraddick received the nickname "Kidd" from a radio producer at a station where he was the youngest employee.
In 1991, Kraddick founded the 501(c)3 charity, The Kraddick Foundation, dedicated to helping impact the lives of children who have terminal or chronic illnesses or are accident victims. It consists of "Kidd's Kids," which takes a planeload of these children (age 5-11) and their families to Walt Disney World for 5 days every November. In 2010, the charity grew to include "The Glamour Squad" which visits hospitals around the country and provides a day of pampering inside the hospital for teenage girls.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Johnson of Masters & Johnson dies

Virginia Johnson, the pioneering sex researcher who was part of the groundbreaking team Masters and Johnson,
William Masters, Virginia Johnson
died Tuesday in St. Louis at age 88. Masters and Johnson conducted the first modern research on sexuality and the treatment of sexual dysfunction that paved the way for the sexual revolution.

The work of Johnson and William H. Masters, who were married to each other, began in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis and continued at the independent not-for-profit research institution they founded in St. Louis in 1964, originally called the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation and renamed the Masters & Johnson Institute in 1978.

Cleveland native Masters died in 2001. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

PD dropping Derf strip

The Plain Dealer is dropping Richfield native and Ohio State University graduate John Backderf’s comic strip, “The City.” The strip has run in more than 100 newspapers.

Derf’s Facebook post:

John Backderf
Well, just got word from the managing editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that next Monday's strip will be the last. The section where my strip appears is being eliminated. I guess this means the layoffs and end of home delivery are about to happen as well. Good times.

I’ve enjoyed my run in the PD. Lasted almost two full years.

It’s an unwelcome financial blow, so I’ll have to scramble to find other revenue. I have some things in the works, but it looks to be a pretty lean rest of the year until I pull these book proposals together and land another deal.

Derf was a staff artist-cartoonist for the Plain Dealer from 1986-89 and for the Akron Beacon Journal from 1990-1999. He was more awards than you can shake a stick at, local and national. 

Derf is married to Sheryl Harris, a former BJ reporter who became a business writer at the Plain Dealer.

Word is that one-third the remaining PD newsroom staff will be axed within the week.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

John Hambrick has terminal cancer

Former Cleveland news anchor John Hambrick, 73, with WEWS-Channel 5's "Eyewitness News" went it rose from third to first place in the early 1970s, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Texas native Hambrick move to Georgetown, north of Austin, after retiring from television. He began his TV career in Texas in 1963 at a station in Abilene. He was working at Cincinnati’s WCPO-Channel 9 before switching to Cleveland in 1967. 

He stayed eight years before being replaced by Ted Henry and moving on to anchor KABC-Channel 7 in Los Angeles, KRON-Channel 4 in San Francisco, WNBC-Channel 4 in New York, Miami’s WTVJ and WCIX.

Three Hambrick brothers became news anchors -- Judd Hambrick, in Cleveland at WKYC-Channel 3 and WJKW (now WJW)-Channel 8. Mike Hambrick, a reporter and anchor in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Dallas and Washington, D.C., had a  brief run as a noon anchor at Channel 5.

John Hambrick won three Emmys, two in New York and one in Miami.

Hambrick’s Cleveland co-workers were weatherman Don Webster, sports anchor Gib Shanley and commentator Dorothy Fuldheim. Dave Patterson became Hambrick's co-anchor in 1970.

To read PD and former BJ television critic Mark Dawdziak’s story about John Hambrick, click on

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dawidziak at Tully documentary premiere in St. Marys

Two years after the publication of their biography about writer Jim Tully, PD and former BJ television critic Mark Dawidziak and co-author Paul Bauer will be in St. Marys, Ohio, Tulley’s birthplace, for tonight's premiere of filmmaker Mark Wade Stone's documentary based on their book, followed by a concert by guitarist Eric Taylor

Paul Bauer, Mark Dawidziak filmed
on the rails that Tully knew well
The film -- “Road Kid to Writer -- The Tracks of Jim Tully” -- features Eric's music about Tully.

The Auglaize County Historical Society will host “An Evening with Tully and Taylor” at 7 p.m. at the St. Marys Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1309 East Spring Street, St. Marys.

Born to James Dennis and Bridget Marie Lawler Tully, an Irish immigrant ditch-digger and his wife, Tully was sent to a Cincinnati orphanage after his mother died in 1892. What education he acquired came in the hobo camps, boxcars, railroad yards and public libraries across the country.

In Kent,  he was a chain-maker, professional boxer and tree surgeon. He also began to write, mostly poetry published in the local newspapers. He moved to Hollywood in 1912, where he became one of the first reporters to cover Hollywood.

Tully married Florence May Bushnell in 1910 in Kent. They had two children, T. Alton Tully, born in Kent, and daughter Trilby Jean Tully, born in California. 

Tully married Margaret Rider Myers in 1925 and Myrtle Zwetow in 1933.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas dies

Helen Thomas, who died today at the age of 92, covered the White House and every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.
Helen Thomas, President Obama on her 89th birthday

President Lyndon Johnson learned of his daughter Luci’s engagement when Thomas reported it.

During Watergate, Thomas frequently got late-night phone calls from Martha Mitchell, wife of then-Attorney General John Mitchell, who vented her frustrations with how she thought White House officials were betraying her husband.

For more fascinating details of the lady in red in the front row at White House press briefings, click on

For another story with more information, on the CNN web site, click on

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Buffett's company buys 70th newspaper

Warren Buffett’s newspaper company, Berkshire Hathaway, through its BH Media subsidiary, will buy the Atlantic City Press. BH Media purchased the Roanoke, Virginia Times in May.

Other BH Media newspapers:

In Virginia, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Midlothian Exchange in Chesterfield County, Mechanicsville Local, Goochland (County) Gazette, Cumberland Today, Powhatan Today, Daily Progress, Greene County Record, Madison (County) Eagle, Star Exponent of Culpepper, New Virginian, Orange County Review, Stafford County Sun, Belvoir Eagles, Quantico Sentry, Danville Register and Bee, Nelson County Times, Amherst New Era-Progress, News and Advance, Bristol Herald Courier, Clinch Valley News, Burg weekly entertainment guide, Floyd Press, PW Business, Richlands News-Press, Smyth County News and Messenger, Washington County News, Bland County Messenger, Wytheville Enterprise.

In North Carolina, Hickory Daily Record, Independent Tribune, McDowell News, Mooresville Tribune, News Herald, Shalersville Record & Landmark, Winston-Salem Journal, Eden News, Rockingham Now.

In the mid-South, Corner News, Dothan Eagle, Enterprise Ledger, Eufaula Tribune, Jackson County Floridian, Opelika-Auburn News, Morning News, Hartsville Messenger, Lake City News and Post.

BH also owns the Buffalo Evening News, Business Wire, Omaha World Herald, Bryan-College Station Eagle, Waco Tribune Herald, Tulsa World, Greensboro News & Record, Roanoke Times.

BH Media owns 70 newspapers, but not all are dailies. 

Berkshire Hathaway began in Cumberland, Rhode Island in 1839 as Valley Falls Company, founded by Oliver Chace. Its current headquarters is in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett is chairman and chief executive officer. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Montreal Jazz Festival online photo album

If you want to see the 24 photos in an online album of the 2013 Montreal Jazz Festival trip by John Olesky and Paula Tucker, click on  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BJ retiree Eunice Collins dies

On July 7, 2013 God called Eunice E. Collins home.

Eunice was born in Cullman, Alabama November 16, 1933 to John A. Collins and Lillie V. Collins.

Eunice attended the Akron Public Schools, graduating from Garfield H.S. (1952). He studied his craft at the Southern School of
Printing, Nashville, Tennessee. His vocation as a Compositer brought Eunice to the Akron Beacon Journal, where he was employed from 1952 until retirement in January, 1990. In his father's tradition, he became interested in Masonry, joining Coventry Lodge #665.
 Viewing masonry as a guide to enriching his life, his deep love of the fraternity led him to research and subsequently document the history of Freemasonry. His literary work authored by Eunice has been published and is currently housed in the A.A.S.R. Masonic Museum Library in Lexington, Massachusetts. As a young man, he served as an officer in Temple Chapter Demolay; later as a W.M. Coventry Lodge #665; member Supreme Council; Commander-in-Chief Valley of Akron A.A.S.R.; R.P. Amaranth, Akron Court; supporter of the A.A.S.R. Learning Center for Dyslexia; a strong voice for the Alzheimer facility under construction at Western Reserve Masonic Community. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 7, Eunice dedicated his life to the pursuit of finding a cure for this debilitating disease. Believing that a cure must be found in his lifetime, Eunice spent endless hours in collaboration with medical researchers at the local, state and international levels. When he was not engaged in medical research, Eunice enjoyed golf, woodworking and traveling. 

Of great importance and a real blessing to Eunice was his church, Akron Baptist Temple where he was a member over 70 years. Eunice will be deeply missed by his wife, Bonnie L. Collins, who ardently shared his breath of vision.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hummel Funeral Home, 3475 Copley Rd. Visitation will be Tuesday, July 16, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Masonic Service at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, July 17 at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment at Greenlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, a memorial may be made to the American Diabetes Association for Diabetic Research. Please visit www.hummelcares to share memories or condolences.



Published in Akron Beacon Journal on July 14, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sandy Bee Lynn dedicates MAPS display for her D-Day paratrooper father

Former BJ Reference Librarian Sandy Fuller Bee Lynn and her siblings today helped dedicate the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) Museum display of their father, Henry Fuller, who was a World War II paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division (the famous Screaming Eagle) that jumped over Normandy on D-Day.

Sandy and her siblings donated their father’s uniform, medals and other items to MAPS, including his uniform that was on display in France for more than a year.

Henry and 791 men in the 502nd regiment flew out of Greenham Common Airfield in England to jump over  Normandy on D-Day, when America and its Allies invaded Hitler’s Europe in 1944. Only 126 survived.

Henry was in a famous photo taken of Gen. Dwight D.  Eisenhower and Lt. Wallace C. Strobel before the unit headed for Normandy.

The New Horizons Band, directed by Jim Adkins, performed patriotic music at the dedication ceremony. Sandy’s husband, Glenn, was among the band performers. Sandy is in the strings section of the New Horizons Band.       

Henry Fuller was born in Akron in 1922, the youngest of 10 children. His mother died when he was only four years old and he spent much of his childhood in the Summit County Children’s Home.

On New Year’s Eve 1945 Henry married Arline Mitchell. They had three children: Sandy, Ron and Timothy. All three, who spoke at their father’s MAPS dedication, grew up mostly in North Hill. Henry was a letter carrier in the U.S. Postal Service for more than 30 years.

He passed away at the age of 80 in 2003 in Wadsworth.  

Henry worked at the Phillips Paper Bag Factory in Akron before attending Parachute School in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Sandy worked in the Wadsworth and Orrville libraries after leaving the BJ. She lives in Doylestown with husband Glenn Lynn.

In 2009 Sandy survived a head-on collision with a drunk driver who had a previous record but didn’t have insurance or a driver’s license and was in a car that didn’t belong to him. He’s still is in the Ohio Penitentiary.

Dunphy update

Dunphy update: Recovery Road. Three weeks out since my release from the hospital June 20. The scar from the incision on my neck is barely visible and they took the staples out of my chest a week or so ago so now I just looked liked a sewed-up pigskin.

I walk everyday and I’m up to a mile on most days; sometimes more.

I’m still lugging around this pesky feeding tube. I can get rid of it when I start to gain weight and there’s the rub. I’m learning how to eat real food again and it’s slow going. Some things agree; some things violently disagree.

The goal is 2,000 calories or more daily. It doesn’t take much to fill me up and it’s hard to eat if you’re not hungry. So at night I get hooked up to a pump that sends 700 to 1,200 liquid calories into me over a 10-hour period. So the rub is I’m not gaining weight, but on the plus side I’m not losing any either. More than you want to know right?

... Moving ahead, Rebecca, my rock and guardian angel through all of this, is going back to work Monday. I’m excited for her because she will be back in her element among colleagues putting out a newspaper most naysayers claim isn’t possible. It will be good to be among other adults discussing the day’s events and providing news readers need and can use instead of changing feeding bags and watching what foods agree or disagree with me. I can’t say thanks enough for all she has done and I know I could not have done this alone. To paraphrase a bit from Lou Gehrig: “I’m the luckiest man ALIVE.”

In the days ahead, I still have my freelance writing job with Southland Golf magazine ( I have been filing twice a month throughout this adventure and proud to say I haven’t missed a deadline or an issue).
I intend to sign up for physical therapy when the docs give the go ahead to see if I can rebuild some muscle and tone. And I may venture on to a putting green to see if I still have the old magic. Will be in touch.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Beneficial byproducts of medications

We hear bad things about the side effects of medication, particularly from class-action attorneys. But the July issue of AARP magazine lists good things about the side effects of some medication, based on scientific studies.

1. The flu shot provides heart disease and stroke prevention. The study shows a 48% reduction for those who have flu shots.

2. Statins to lower cholesterol. A 15% lower risk of cancer death.

3. Metformin to treat diabetes. A 17% lower risk of breast cancer.

4. Beta-blockers to lower blood pressure. 40% fewer Alzheimer's disease lesions.

5. Levodopa and doparmine agonists for Parkinson's disease. A surge in creativity.

6. Adalimumab (Humina) to treat psoriasis. Depression test scores improve.

7. Aspirin to prevent heart attacks. A 57% lower risk of death.

8. Antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil). Lower risk of heart failure.

Obviously, you don't take any of these without your doctor's approval and prescriptions. But it's a reminder that there's reward and risk in everything we take, and everything we do.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

If you hear "free," hang up.

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)

The other day I got a robocall telling me that I could get a free medical alert device because "it's already paid for." Someone paid for it, either Medicare because my doctor ordered it or a friend, the robot caller said.

Never mind that I'm so "incapacitated" that I've traveled to 52 countries and 43 states since my retirement.

I hung up, of course.

Today I got my AARP Bulletin with a story about the medical alert scam. If you push "1," AARP warns, a telemarketer comes on the phone to pressure you into giving your credit card or bank account information that will let the scammer clean you out financially.

Some scammers tell the senior citizens that they ordered the device and threaten legal action unless they pay up.

The best advice when the robocall says "free": Hang up.

And then there are the robocalls wanting to talk to me about "your natural gas bills." Never mind that our home only has electricity, and no natural gas.

But don't get me started on other scammers who target senior citizens . . . or we'll be here all day.

BJ lunches died off as retirees died


Tom Moore may be right that it's time to retire the BJ retirees luncheon. The interest just isn't there. Too many of the regulars have passed away. 

There haven't been more than 10 show up at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Papa Joe's Restaurant since 2008 when 23 attended a memorial lunch for Sandy Levenson and Bob Pell, who was a faithful attendee.

Gene McClellan, who had attended 87 out of 88 lunches before his illness, also passed away.

The last 13 months no more than 7 ever showed up. 

I confess that I forgot to put it on my calendar; if it's not staring at me on my calendar, I forget to go. 

It's too bad because I always enjoy myself when I do show up. There's plenty of laughter, some talk about the BJ going to hell since we left the building, and chatting about family and travel. 

Tom is away every fall in Florida to work with former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen's seniors baseball tournament. I'm away frequently with my travels to 52 countries and 43 states. 

It was a good time. A time whose value has passed for nearly everyone. Except Tom and I. And I forget to go too often. 

July 10, 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    no one stayed

June 12, 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    2 (Mike Williams, John Olesky)

May 8, 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3

April 10, 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    2 (John Olesky, Don Roese)

January 9, 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

December 12, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . .   4

November 14, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . .   3 (Rosetta Blanton, Lonnie Thomas, Al Hunsicker)

October 10, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . .    6 (Tracy McClellan, Rosetta Blanton, Lonnie Thomas)

September 12, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . .      7 (including Tracy McClellan, cousin Lonnie)

August 8, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       6 (including Tracy McClellan, Steve Mace)

July 11, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      3 (including Tracy McClellan)

June 13, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3  (including Tracy McClellan)

May 9, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

April 11, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   10 (including Gene McClellan’s 3 
                                                                    children and 2 grandchildren)
March 14, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    5

February 8, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3

January 11, 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    6

December 14, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

November 9, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

October 12, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6 (including Rosetta Blanton)

Sept. 14, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4

August 10, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

July 13, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    5

June 8, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     6

May 11, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

April 13, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     6

March 9, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    7

February 9, 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5 including Denzil Parker

January 12, 2011 . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . 0 heavy snowstorm

December 8, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3

November 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

October 13, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . .  . 5 (including Cal Deshong’s daughter)

September 8, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

August 11, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6

July 13, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7

June 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

May 12, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    7

April 14, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

March 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

February 10, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . 2 (Engraving’s Pat Dougherty, Composing’s
                                                         Gene McClellan)

January 13, 2010 . . . . . . . . . . .  5

November 11, 2009 . . . . . . . . .  4

September 9, 2009 …………….  8

August 12, 2009 ……………….   7

July 8, 2009 …………………….   10

June 10, 2009 ………………….  10

May 14, 2009 …………………..  8

April 8, 2009 …………………… 5

January 14, 2009 …………… 3

December 10, 2008 …………… 8

November 12, 2008 …………… 6

October 8, 2008 ……………… 8

August 13, 2008 ……………… 9

July 9, 2008 …………………… 23
(Sandy Levenson, Bob Pell memorial)

June 12, 2008 ………………… 8

May 14, 2008 ………………… 12

Feb. 13, 2008 ………………… 11

Dec. 12, 2007 ………………… 8

Sept. 12, 2007 ………………… 16

August 8, 2007 ……………… 7

June 13, 2007 ………………… 12

May 9, 2007 …………………… 14

April 11, 2007 ………………… 15

March 15, 2007 ……………… ??
(no story & photos no longer available)

January 10, 2007 …………… 14

December 13, 2006 ………… 18

November 8, 2006 …………… 13

October 12, 2006 …………… 11

September 13, 2006 ………… 12

August 13, 2006 …………… 15

July 12, 2006 ………………… 10

June 15, 2006 ……………… 12

May 11, 2006 ………………… 11

April 12, 2006 ……………… 11

March 8, 2006 ……………… 13

February 8, 2006 …………… 11

January 11, 2006 …………… 13